Riding Studly is going well. I took him for a spin on Sunday, and he was great. Turns out the snort-like sound is just his motor. You know the more horsepower the louder the engine idles. I'm not a mechanic, but I'm pretty sure that's how it is anyway. He is a little heavy on the forehand, but I think that's just laziness. He can easily roll back and spin because I tried it. He isn't ready for much of that though, so for now I'm mostly concerned with fitness. Don't get me wrong he is in good shape, but of course riding is different than fitting from the ground.
He does seem a little short on his left side. He doesn't always step with his rear all the way into/past his left front hoofprint like he does with the right. I am able to get him to step through a little longer with some shoulder in exercises (gotta love those dressage books), so I think it must be a balance issue and not actual soreness. But, I haven't ridden him enough to really know him, so I've determined to keep him on the workout schedule until I'm done with finals. Again, I love my lil sis. She's going to work on his fitness for me while I have to do boring law school stuff.
The other thing he has no clue about is a mounting block. He's not afraid of it, but looks at me like I'm dumb when I want him to stand next to it. He will gladly stand 2 feet away from it, or at a 45 degree angle to it, or with his neck next to it so that the stirrup is just out of my reach. None of which merits any sort of come to Jesus meeting, but still annoying. He just won't go where he is supposed to. I've tried to explain to him that I invested in a block because I don't want to spend money on a chiropractor to fix his withers after my big butt torques them out of whack by mounting from the ground with a bad knee, but he's old fashioned. Jeez, I sound like a whiner. Really, I chuckle about my bronc of a Studly.
Sunday is also beauty parlor day.
As lovely as Studly's hair is, its a curse. He of course could care less about mangling it on the fence or tangling it up by annoyingly shaking his head. Come on pony, be still, breyers can do it, why can't you? On the bright side, at least he doesn't have half the white that Snoopy does.
I came up with a new novel hair care idea. Having Snoopy for the last ten years, I've gotten very schooled in long mane care, but Studly's mane is more like a couple tails attached to his neck. It just isn't quite as easy. Normally I would braid his hair into 5-6 large braids (changing the number/spacing to prevent breakage) and then sock each big braid. Well I decided that smaller braids would have less surface area (my science degrees at work) at the base of his mane for him to get messed up. So, I braided each large section into three individual braids and then braided those braids together. Overkill, maybe, but in two weeks I will see. I also decided to try a second new idea of only braiding half his hair. This could prove to be a problem. I'm worried that the loose ends will tangle inside the sock, but if they don't, I just saved myself a good 45 minutes.
My poor jealous Snoopy also got his hair re-done, but taking care of him is only half the production of Studly. I've quit experimenting with him and have settled into an unchanging personal law of how its done. (Don't feel bad for him though, he's the only horse in the barn who got any treats from me before I left, and he knows it)
Note that it is dark out, and some horses are waiting for the beauty king to finish so I can bring them in.