Monday, April 5, 2010

A Big Weekend for Linus

Linus had a "good" Good Friday running all over the place; we did not! We fenced in a spot for him so that he had more room to run and some grass to nibble. Our cows and the horse I used to have have always been kept in with single strand electric wire. We've never even had bulls that have bothered with the wire. They know its electric and they respect it. Not Linus. When at Homefire, he had not only higher but several more strands to keep him in. Seems we are going to have to do something like that. I put him in his new area, walked the perimeter with him, the fence was flagged so he knew the boundary. Five minutes later, Dad beeps from the tractor and points at Linus standing on a hill beside the house munching away on the rich grass that grows on top of where the septic tank is. Grab his mane, wait for my Stu to bring me a halter (slow process, he had an ingrown toenail removed the day previous!) put Linus back in and repair the fence. Ten minutes later, we're cleaning out his round pen and Mom comes around the corner "Donna, can you go put Linus in?" so this time we put him in the barn. No sense putting him back in the fence, he obviously doesn't respect it and is going through it too fast to get a shock. We learned from Mom that he was attempting to jump over it. Her comment: "He's not very good at it!" Thanks mom, is that a challenge for the future?...
We made a new area, with gates, on the other side of the barn and put him in with a heifer called Lucy. Some of you know that is also the barn name of his mother; Linus and Lucy together again!! I was amused by the names anyway. She put him in his place and we haven't had any problems with them. We do have a new bull coming home in 2 weeks though, so between now and then I need to come up with a sturdier fence system for Linus.
To complete his big day of playing Houdini the farrier came and while he was not a perfect gentleman he still did very well. It doesn't take him long to figure out its better to just give in and get it overwith faster.
Saturday, Linus got his first bath. Boy was he not impressed with me!! But it did him the world of good. He is so much softer now and not as itchy from the shedding. One more obstacle for him to get used to. We didn't do much more than a bath on Saturday, that was a big enough event for him. He followed up by acting like a bronc when back in his pen.
Yesterday, I pulled him out, brushed the new loose hairs out and spent some time learning to stand still. Then Owen and Stu walked over. Owen gets a great kick out of petting Linus and even he noticed how much softer Linus was. "Wow, soft" were his words. Pretty good observation since he had just been petting a newborn calf and that is the ultimate in soft! Then Owen briefly sat on Linus' back. Linus turned his head and kind of froze. I think he somehow knows to be gentle with Owen. With all the driving we've done, something on his back isn't scary either.
I was going to drive him yesterday but we haven't been out for a couple of weeks and it was very windy. I decided to go ahead and work on a problem instead. Linus and I have issues when I lead him, he sometimes thinks he can lead me. I picked up a short (14" ish) riding crop a few days before in hopes of using it as an aid with leading. If he got too far ahead of me I would tell him "Whoa", if that didn't slow him I pulled on the lead with another "Whoa" and if that didn't work I gave him a bit of a tap with the crop. Nothing to hurt just to show him it was there. We headed up the driveway and not too far from there he caught on to what I was getting at. So, after this we enjoyed a 3km walk. We went to the end of the road and back. We've never gone this far before. It did him good. The neighbour's put plastic around their porch for the winter and have opened some of it up already, the rest was blowing and flapping in the wind. Great obstacle! I circled him there until it was a non-issue. We also encountered barking dogs (non-issue since my dog Tess usually follows us everywhere anyway), 4-wheelers, laundry on clotheslines, low-lying branches brushing the side of the road (obviously just waiting to grab Linus!) a power-washer, some guys fixing an upside down something (couldn't tell what it was but three of them were standing there humming and hawing) the same people also have a massive Bermese Mountain Dog who came running out barking. I thought this might scare him because it was a new dog, but he didn't even look at her. We were passed by a few vehicles, one towing a trailer loaded with stuff the dump and one with kids waving. Not a bother at all. We kicked rocks, an empty flattened pop can and leaves. On the way there Linus had his head and ears up taking it all in. On the way back his head was between my hip and shoulder and every now and then he would playfully lip my sleeve or the lead rope. I kept praising him and rubbing his neck every so often. I was very proud of my boy! We had a great walk. Even though it felt like a nice relaxing walk (it was that too) we conquered a lot and he respected me as his leader. I let him eat some new grass before putting him away and not long after he was flaked out on his side next to Lucy.
Today he will get the day off, he is still a baby!!
Hope you all had a great Easter weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Donna. You encountered many obstacles on your walk! That's awesome. Playing with Linus like this at his early age is going to pay off so much when it's saddle time. =] Sounds like you are having oodles of fun...well, except when he escapes! LOL. I love giving my horses a bath this time of year! I love getting that winter grime off their skin. =] I should have done it last weekend but they still have so much winter hair. Soon though!!! Thanks for sharing, always enjoy your Linus stories. =]

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