Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Good Ol' Harold!

I flipping love my new horse. Well, OUR horse! He is definitely going to be a great 'family' horse. Chloe had her very first ever 'solo' ride on a horse Sunday. He was awesome for her. You could see him almost tiptoeing trying to be slow and easy for her.

I need to get the little squirt a helmet now! Look, how cute is this!!:

Too bad its 50 bucks, ugh. Will have to wait a bit on that. The good thing about though is it has one of those dial things that will adjust and last her a long time.

So! I have a lot to catch up on! I guess I need to start at the beginning. I found him on craigslist last week. I periodically check it out, and a few facebook horse sale pages. Well I called about him and decided he was worth a look. I really liked his sale picture. And PRICE! (I actually didn't pay for him, my parents bought him. I am trading the price of him out for gas. When I go work with their horses they buy my gas (they live on the other side of the county from me), so now instead of that they bought me a horse, lol.)

So I start researching the guy that owns him hoping to find some more pictures of the horse somewhere. Eventually I find out the guy has been on a reality tv show on CMT! I KNOW! So funny. He was on Sweet Home Alabama. It was about 10 city boys and 10 country boys trying to win this one girl. Anyway, he did pretty good apparently but didn't win.

He was super nice and accommodating. He told me he races barrel racers all over the country. He was actually training a nice gelding in the pretty arena he had when we pulled up. He had Harold in the round pen they had in the barn. So he tacked him up for me, well put the saddle on him, and I cinched him up and put his bridle on. He was a gentleman for all of it. Then I hopped on. I found out right away he didn't have any buttons. He also was super lazy and didn't want to stand still after you stopped. Which is kind of strange combination with the laziness. But eventually he figured out if he moved off without being told he had to back up quite a few steps and got better. I bet who rode him before 'trained' him that whenever he was on him he was to be going.

I walk trot and loped him in there, which got pretty dusty, ugh. He was pretty good, I had to smack him a bit on the hiney with my hand to get him to go a few times. The guy was amazed because he hasn't even seen him trot, haha. I didn't really like how he pinned his ears a bit when asked to go faster, but I figured that was something we could work on. I also didn't like how flipping BOUNCY his trot was, ugh. 

After I felt good in there we ventured out into the yard/pasture. The man who owned him went and fetched his horse off the cross ties (I was amazed how quiet and polite he was just standing there waiting) and went on and worked him some more in the arena. So I just moseyed on around and found some scary stuff to go by, over, etc. He did great. I even rode right next to the arena where the barrel horse was tearing it up and he didn't bat an eye. He just trucked on down through the pasture with his head down.

I was pretty sure I wanted him at that point, although wasn't really feeling a 'connection' with him and kept going back and forth. Then I stopped over by the bleachers where my husband and the babies were and he wouldn't stand still very well. Then the man came up on his horse and he neighed at him and after I dismounted he would not be still and stand, Chloe was so excited about petting him and I really couldn't let her because I was afraid he would run her over. So thats when I said no. It was getting late and I felt like I was keeping the guy, so I played it safe. 

We left and went to eat at cracker barrel and I kept thinking about him. Then the next morning I was like, what the crap, I think I want him! I then went back and forth all day, prayed about it. I still didn't make a decision till Saturday morning. So thankful for my awesome husband, he was totally supportive.

So I decided if he still had him I would go get him. He did! He was trailering a horse to bham but was able to get his mom to unlock the gate and take our money. 

I didn't think we would have any trouble with him in the trailer and I was right! He took a look at the pretty substantial step up and then walked right on! Which that huge four horse is pretty inviting, lol. We even stopped at walmart for a bit to get a few things. Never heard a peep or stomp out of him.

Its a good hour 15 or so home. Opened up the doors and had him back off, even though there was plenty of room to turn around. I wanted to make sure he could. He did great. He walked off and just looked around as calm as can be! I walked him to his temporary home in the round pen and let him sniff it and check it out a bit. 

Just off the trailer!
Checkin out his new digs
Then I broke out the Clinton Anderson on him. He wasn't real thrilled with working and I had to give him a few good lashes on the hiney. But soon he was speeding up from just a point and cluck. He did pretty well with his turns, had a few more wrong outside then Stormy. Speaking of Stormy, he is her opposite in so many ways. I kept subconsciously waiting for him to respond like her and was almost confused when he didn't, lol. Definitely an adjustment period!

So I did some follow me stuff, which didn't go too well in the beginning. He was more interested in the grass. But after I sent him back out a few times he was stuck good. I liked how he didnt try to climb in my lap like Stormy did. I put his halter on after that and did some desensitizing and backing up. Which was difficult! Stormy, being very reactive, was so responsive to the wiggle wave. He was just kind of like, oh, are you doing something? Lol, I even tried tapping his nose pretty firmly with the stick and he still just sort of stood there! After two or three days of working on it we are getting a bit better! But a whack on the chest to him is like a fly, lol.

After that he got a good brushing! Chloe girl came in and stood on a bucket to help me. He stood there so good. He was filthy, I don't think he's seen a brush in months. Definitely not a bath in years. If I get a good warm day Friday that will be on the agenda! We are gradually cooling off around here, usually low 80's most days, 60's at night. Fall is a comin!

He has the silliest lazy lip, lol
I looked at his tail briefly and saw a HUGE mat in it. I mean its massive. And solid. I really have my doubts I will be able to get it out. Its a solid mass of balled up hair like four inches long. It's on the inside of his tail so maybe it wouldn't be too noticeable if I had to cut it out. Thankfully he has a pretty awesome tail already.

So that was his first day! I was really feeling good about going back for him! I'll leave our first ride for our next post!

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