I went over to pick up George’s clutter today – he’s coming home tomorrow morning! He’s also booked in for his next flu jab tomorrow afternoon, since we’re perilously close to the end of the window of opportunity for his 6-month booster.
That being the case, from now on George’s story will continue, as with the other horses, at the Cairnorchies Chronicles.
I went over to Strathorn this afternoon to visit George. He was out in the field when I arrived, fairly glowing in the sunshine, and I was able to watch him brought in, handled in his stable and then taken into one of their indoor schools for some in-hand schooling, then I took the lead rope and got a walk through of the methods they’ve been using.
I have to say they’ve made quite a difference to George! He was able to stand still and quiet while we talked, instead of muscling in demanding attention at tooth-point, and I lifted all four of his hooves – though the back ones, admittedly, with some minor tail-swishing protest on his part.
He’s going to come home on the 1st March, so I need to nip back over with another sack of fibre beet for him in the next day or so, then again to pick up all his harness and paraphernalia before he comes home. That could be interesting, as I’m away until late on the 28th – I may have to go over on the 25th, Monday, before I nip down south.
His plough chains arrived in the post this morning and there’s any amount of harrowing we can work towards him doing at Cairnorchies over the summer!
I emailed to find out how George is getting on and Amy responded to say he’s kicked his feed ball to death and snapped a clip on his rug, but otherwise he’s doing well. They’re still working on getting him to turn away from his leader, but he’s had his front hooves trimmed without trouble, their farrier is handling his hind hooves each time he comes (which is frequently – at least weekly!) and he’s having them all picked up and picked out daily. He’s getting join up sessions frequently, too, and they’re working on improving his patience when he’s tied up.
I regret to report that he has managed to bite Amy once, however.
By the time he comes back, he’ll be joining the others at Cairnorchies – I’m looking forward to that!
I had to go to Inverurie today to get puppy pads (they make excellent flooring for ferret cages!) so I carried on and dropped in at Strathorn to hand over George’s passport. It should have gone with him but there’s always something, isn’t there? Amy told me he’s doing fine, however – she did a session of join-up with him in their smaller indoor school yesterday and he behaved very well, walking next to her with only a few attempts to nip, and with someone on the far side of him so he could be turned easily in both directions. They’ve also had all his hooves up today and picked them out, which took two people and a large post to wrap his lead rope round so he thought he was tied up securely, still had someone to talk to and had another to handle feet. He seems to Amy to be a real mixed up kid – half still baby-nipping, half trying to dominate but not quite sure who’s boss, and a good big dollop of confusion as he’d like to do as he’s asked but doesn’t quite grasp how!
Pretty much as I’ve always seen him – it’s always good to get another experienced view on a horse, though.
I glimpsed his face in one of the barns as I was leaving but it’s better if I don’t confuse him by appearing and unsettling him just as he’s finding his feet, I think, so I didn’t go over to him, just looked through the car window. He seemed contented enough, nose buried in a large pile of hay, munching away steadily.
George loaded into a heavy trailer this afternoon and went off to his session at Strathorn Farm. He loaded well, only a thoughful pause to study the inside of a new trailer before following me in fairly readily, and then we swiftly got the bar up behind him, I tied him up and the ramp went up as I ducked out of the groom’s door and shut it behind me. He had time for a few plaintive whinnies and then had to concentrate on his balance in the trailer as it moved off.
It’s very strange, seeing an empty stable where there should be a big chestnut horse.
Update – I got an email to say he’d arrived safely and settled into his stable happily. Hope he carries on happy!
The water drinkers had frozen overnight and haven’t thawed out all day, so Lynn put a big bucket of water in each stable.
George is livid.
It took me a while to figure out what his problem was, because he was happy as a lark coming in, had a good session in the trailer that turned a bit grumpy when Helen muscled in on him hogging my attention, but then I put him in the stable and he was downright furious! I only just got the door shut and bolted around his teeth, he attacked his dinner as much as ate it, and was still stamping around his box afterwards, ears pinned, bum turned to the door and glaring furiously into the corner with the water bucket from time to time while snorting in disgust!
He’s just going to have to live with it, because I’m not going in with him in that mood. I expect he’ll bury the offending object overnight…. but I have warned Helen to watch herself when she feeds him later!
I delivered his clutter (feed, harness, rug, etc) to the trainers this morning – they seem nice people and it turns out that the woman who’ll be taking the lead role with George broke in my friend Righa’s Clydesdale Carrick! Carrick’s a lovely horse, 17 years and counting now, but a grand hack and a gentleman to handle. Hopefully Amy can get on George’s good side and take him a bit further along the same road.
I’m going over to meet the folk George will be spending three weeks with tomorrow morning, so tonight the car’s getting stuffed.
6 sacks of nuggets, 2 sacks of fibre beet, 1 bale of alfa-A, 1 bale of hi-fi lite, a bag of balancer, his heavyweight rug, his plough gear, collar and hames, bridle, three haynets, two rubber buckets….
Hope there’s room for me in the morning!