|so much better looking than the one that was fused to|
his jaw and had to be cut/pried/yanked out.
The dentist the barn uses wouldn't get back to me after weeks of trying to get in touch with him, so I ended up going with someone else. Fortunately she was great to work with and got Dopie floated in no time. He had a couple points in the back, but the fun part was the last retained baby tooth of the four Opie originally had that the other dentist had left in for a reason I don't remember got to come out. This dentist gave the tooth a wiggle, pronounced it loose enough that she felt she could get it out pretty easily, and then did just that with nothing more than a lip chain for the final yank. No drugs, no fuss, Opie spit a little blood out and went right to stuffing his face with the rest of his breakfast hay.
She said the rest of his mouth looks perfectly normal which probably means it's time for him to come up with something else weird and/or horrifying. Although perhaps he's maimed his legs enough times this year to cover that for awhile.
Knock on wood!
|"herp derp i'm still a child."|
Opie had himself a nice three day weekend. Or maybe not so nice as I was snug as bug in my house watching LRK3DE while he had to hang outside with his friends not working, but braving another wave of winter weather. You guys, it snowed again Saturday. I can't.
I rode him in the relative warmth Thursday afternoon and sir was LIT. As in, breathing fire and ready to conquer
BUT STILL SO STRONG AND FIT AND READY TO CANTER FOR FIVE HOURS STRAIGHT.
|"easy, fuego" was my canter mantra and it made me giggle.|
i crack me up.
One of Hubby's favorite past times is to reminisce over how bad of a horse Bobby was. For some reason all the tears and tantrums and meltdowns that everyone's favorite giant awkward moose brought me never really endeared Hubby to Bobby. I do my best to defend him--he might have smashed me into walls for virtually no reason countless times, and caused me more angst than any horse owner should have to go through, but he did bring some nice things to the table--but my last couple rides on the young Dopie Horse have maaaaybe lent some credence to Hubby's complaints.
I was never able to ride Bobby with Mr Tappy because as soon as he saw the whip come out, forget it. Ride over. Did he get touched with it? Didn't matter, its very existence was too offensive to handle. Cue the string of Bobby Nopes: backing up, flinging himself sideways, pinning you against solid objects, laying down (my personal favorite because I'm not sure you can actually be any more melodramatic than laying down under saddle), refusing to move one solitary inch...
Me: Can we do that thing you know how to do perfectly well?
Bobby: What about no.
Me: But you know how to do it. Just do it.
Bobby: YOU SAVAGE I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU EXPECT ME TO BOW DOWN TO YOU I WILL FIGHT TO THE DEATH AND TAKE YOUR MOTHER DOWN WITH ME.
|throwback to this artwork by nicole. #bobbyproblems|
Really all those were all in his repertoire, and it didn't have to be over something as tangible as the whip. Rides often consisted of some form of drama. You had to just assume that he absorbed something out of the whole process and cross your fingers that he would deign to show it off at some point in the future.
Opie isn't immune to a tantrum. He's #childgenius, but he's also a young horse with a questionable work ethic being asked to learn hard things. The difference between the two is that when Opie tries to say "No" he usually flings his head in your face. Sometimes he'll duck out and try for a spin.
And that's it. Keep asking, let him know you're serious, make sure it's clear what you're asking for, and by the end of the ride he's doing it to the best of his ability. There was no moving on from a tantrum with Bobby. If one got started, write off the rest of the ride.
Opie is....wait for it....trainable. There's give and take in our rides.
|"you give me candy, i give you anything you want."|
I wrote in my last post that Mr Tappy got introduced to Opie for help in getting him off my right leg. I had to use him for the first time for backup for just that this morning. In the left lead canter, he went right to laying on my outside leg and bulging out against the rail to the point of scraping my boot along the kick board. I tried leg, then spur, then one snap of my wrist to let Mr Tappy chime in when I got no response.
Opie fucking rocketed into the sky and porpoised for several strides before I was able to bring him back. Then he went right around and tried the same damn evasion again. This time I tried a heavier spur--no response--followed by a lighter spank. Same rocket launch, but a quicker recovery. The third time I only had to use my spur to get my point across, and by the fourth trip past the trouble end he was straight and off my leg.
The end, story over.
We went right back to work, ran through 1-1 twice without incident, and finished with good head scritching snugs because we were both very happy with things.
|loves a good head snug almost as much as candy. which is a lot.|
Bobby taught me a lot. More than I probably ever wanted to know about managing and riding a high drama special needs freak show. There were so many things I loved about him and so many incredible things he gave me that no other horse will ever be able to replicate.
This whole partnership when the going gets "tough" though? The whole "I ask, you try, maybe I need to ask a couple more times before you do try" thing?
I kinda really like this horse so much more. I see what you're saying now, Hubby.