Tuesday, April 08, 2014

And Now Back to Our Regular Schedule

Jasper can be the center of my attention again.  :)

He's happier now that he's part of the herd.  He even tolerates my naughty dogs but you can tell he doesn't love them.

The last two days we've been trying on the Myler combo snaffle.
Yesterday he thought it was odd and he mouthed it quite a bit, but today he didn't seem to care much.  Except it is SO awkward to get in his mouth.  It was bad enough with Bella and a regular bridle.  The noseband and chin strap are one circle of string, and they insist on falling down and getting caught on chin and nose as you slip the bit in.  Jasper's bridle is the kind with the poll strap that snaps behind the left ear, so I'm trying to hold all the top up while slipping the bit in and it's a disaster, but he's mostly patient about it.  I tried tying a string from the noseband to the browband, but I don't think it really helped.

I've been giving him some gradually increasing pasture time.  I don't know how much he will tolerate, so I'm trying to be cautious.  I'd like to be able to leave him out for 12 hours from morning until evening (pasture grasses are lowest in sugar in the morning and gradually increase throughout the day) but that may be too long.  I'll keep a close eye on him as I try to figure it out.  He's definitely not fat, so that's a plus.

He has an appointment to have his teeth done on the Monday after Easter.  I'm super excited.  I can't wait to see what's going on inside his mouth.  He's never had dental work before.  He sometimes seems like he gets feed trapped in his cheek.

In other equine news, it's really interesting to put your horses in weird situations and see how wrong you were about them.  :)  I always thought Scout and Bella could eventually be good kids' horses because they both have pretty mellow temperaments, and Bella is such a mother, but they really didn't hold up well to the kid test this weekend.  Bella is too sensitive (but she was really good for me, especially after a year with no riding at all).  She's great on the ground, but put a kid in the saddle and her eyes get huge and she can barely breathe.  Scout is really bad about testing to see what he can get away with (over and over again if necessary), and he is definitely smarter than I gave him credit for.  He knew he had Kaia's number, and she doesn't have any background in horsemanship, so it could eventually lead to disaster.  Bob was totally traumatized about being ridden.  Kaia rode him while I rode Scout, and he was definitely only doing what he wanted to do, but afterward he really thought we were going to beat him.  Every time I'd move he'd jerk his head away.  Whoever instilled that fear in such a quiet old soul... I just can't fathom it.  Pedro I didn't even try.  He's on drylot and bored out of his mind, not to mention frustrated.  He could have used the attention but he was also being naughty with his head in our space.  With a head that big, someone could get hurt.  Jasper got some loving but was mostly left out of the kid stuff.  I don't know him well enough yet, and I don't want to subject him to something that is going to rattle him or get one of the kids hurt.

Everything went well though, and it was a great visit.  I'm looking forward to more quiet time with my mule now.  Scout is ready to hit the trails, but Jasper and I still have to figure each other out a little better.


Cindy D. said...

Jasper is such a doll. My horse Killian has the some attitude as Scout....if he can get away with stuff he will very single time!

Snipe said...

Maybe it would work to lead-line your beginners? I know it isn't as thrilling as riding by yourself, but it could help ensure safety and peace of mind for you and for the horses/donkeys.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

We did do a lot on the lead line, but I let her nag me into trying a ride outside the round pen on Bob. I won't be trying that again! Poor old Bob.