George, Abe and Henry were all feeling frisky on the way in tonight but the control halter stopped George nicely as he headed first for the track to the road and then the track to the car park, and we got into the barn smoothly enough. That came to a sudden stop as George realised that Ceilidh was in her stable ahead of him – scowling over her door. He refused to budge closer to her! I turned him into one of the grooming bays to let Abe and Henry through (though Henry in turn was a bit cautious about walking by behind George!) and he did that willingly enough, turned round to come out – saw Ceilidh’s scowl again and stopped dead.
He was anxious enough he started nuzzling me for reassurance, even, which in a horse his size is faintly ridiculous!
Eventually I got between him and Ceilidh and Donna went into Ceilidh’s stable and backed her away from the door, so he plucked up his courage and scuttled hurriedly past her stable.
They’ve never even touched noses, though Ceilidh has a reputation for ‘sorting out’ bumptious young horses (and is certainly keeping Dancer polite with judicious scowls in the field, though I’ve never seen her lift so much as a hoof or expose a tooth towards the baby!) so I’m amazed at George’s concerns. It’s great, in that a horse who can be disciplined so easily by an old mare glaring at him clearly hasn’t a seriously mean bone in his body, but it does make bringing him in that way a little slow!
Once in his own box George recovered his normal confidence and I gave him another session of sticking-head-in-collar, though the moment when he popped his head in, pricked up his ears and then stepped out of reach (looking smug) did leave me wondering, for a moment, how to get the collar back off him again if he wanted to keep it that much – but I held out his headcollar and he put it on beautifully, so then I could keep his head facing the right way while I lifted the collar off over his ears again.
Tons of treats and praise, of course!
Abe, meanwhile, was hanging over his door wondering why George had a game he couldn’t play, so I let him look at the collar. He gave it a sort of bemused stare, while George glared at him, ears pinned, practically daring Abe to play with George’s new toy! (I can see I’m going to have to get Abe a collar of his own…. unless he’ll accept his rhythm beads as a substitute!)
Lynn also had some time spare this evening so after she’d pulled a mane for the pony’s fairly novice owner, I held George and she went right round his feet to pick them out. He stood beautifully and let her handle all four legs without a twitch, though he did stagger slightly on one leg when he didn’t have his balance quite sorted.
If you translate his age to human years, he’s the equivalent of a six year old. My daughter spent a lot of time falling out of trees, off her bike or over her own feet at that age, so fair enough!
I think he’s had half a kilo of fibre nuggets as treats tonight…. there’s good reason for him growing like a weed!