Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rained out...in February...in Eastern Ontario....What??

Unfortunate, but true. Not ten minutes after I got thinking that this was the nicest day for February that I can ever remember, it started to rain. Then it stopped, then it started and just kept going. Chance of freezing rain tonight so Linus gets to sleep inside tonight. I really despise this time of year. It's not quite winter, not quite spring. Just slop of varying degrees!
Despite the rain I did log about 2 hours with Linus. We covered cross-ties again, hoof picking up and standing quietly while having whatever I am doing get done to him. I brought a long saddle blanket out and used that to "sack out" a bit. I draped it over him and he really didn't care. Was more interested in smelling the other horses on it that he hadn't met! So I started waving it around a bit and then he decided he wasn't sure about but I kept it up until he stood still. After doing this twice he caught on and it became boring for him. So I see-sawed it across his body and up his neck and over his head. The licking, chewing and giant sigh told me it was time to move on!
So we did. On went our surcingle and long lines and out we went. Essa and Tess came with us again. I will have to leave them in next time though. While I think it is good for Linus to have the dogs trotting around him, he sometimes just follows them and makes me think, is he listening to me or just following them???
Today we went the opposite way out of the driveway for the first time. Yep the way with dogs and what I thought could pass as very scary mailboxes for some horses. Apparently Linus is not one of them. He walked by all 3 mailboxes that were on our route without so much as batting an eye at them. While we approached a barking dog we did not go by it. I was happy enough that he continued to approach without fear and didn't want to push it. So, we turned around. On the way back the young grandaughter of our neighbour was out. I could hear her shouting to her Grandpa that we were on our way back. When we got to their driveway Linus decided before I could tell him that he wanted to meet her...he's just so friendly!! So I grabbed his halter and she even had her picture taken with us. (On their camera or else it would be here for you to see)
Since Linus had passed the other mailboxes with ease I decided to check the mail for my parents. I wasn't sure if Mom had earlier in the day or not. First, let me say that a few years ago in our area mailbox smashing was a favourite past-time of some not so nice teens. My Dad's solution to the problem was turning a piece of 3/4" pipe into a mailbox with the same material for a door. You can imagine that pipe on pipe makes quite a bang when they meet. I wondered if this would frighten Linus. I needn't have worried because he started lifting the lid and letting it slam back down himself...while I stood there laughing at him for it!!
We have a few trouble spots on the driveway where Linus isn't quite sure he wants to stay on the path I have chosen for us to be on. So today I made him repeat parts of it until he got the point. Then, a part I was especially happy with, I got him to gr through the narrow opening straight back into his pen!! It was the biggest amount of manouvering we have done. It probably doesn't sound too big but we had to go between my truck and the stock trailer, past the garage and then around the tractor (with a scary snowblower attached) and then through the open gates. I was very happy with him for that.
After removing the surcingle and lines I did a little bit of work that I had learned at a Parelli playdate in December. I can't remember what it was called...not sure I was given the name of it, but it was to get him to move his hips over while I turned. He wanted to sniff around in his pail but once he realised I wanted him to do something and wasn't letting up he quickly impressed me with keeping his position the way I wanted it and moving his hips away from me. It left me with a feeling that I had some more respect from him.
I ran home to start my stove and shower then came back for supper with my parents...I tend to mooch if my husband is away on business. My parents love seeing Owen and he LOVES the farm. After supper and after seeing the weather forecast I went out to put Linus in the barn for the night. He was already pretty wet from the rain (thankfully not yet freezing rain) so I grabbed that saddle blanket from our earlier lesson and gave him a quick rub down. At first he wanted to walk away from it, then he stuck his head and tail in the air and cocked his head to the side as he twisted and stretched; totally enjoying the brisk rub down. The rubbing of his wet coat almost made him look curly!!!
His latest coat change: something I have never seen before. He is actually growing a white patch on the back bottom of his front left foot. I wonder if he will ever decide what colour and markings he is going to be!!!


  1. Cool, Donna, you and Linus are a fabulous team! -Susan

  2. Donna,
    So nice to hear more about Linus. By the way, we too are getting lots of rain in Texas. Keep up the good work, Angie


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