Our horses tend to be like us. It rains, we want to be in shelter with food handy.
Walking around? I don’t remember that being a winter requirement. Don’t touch the blanket. Are you nuts, it’s cold. Um, can I have some more hay?
Ponying is a good way to add in extra movement without adding extra workout. The first time I ponied Dinero in the arena, I did walk/trot warmup with both horses, before I tied him securely to a post. Hudson and I went off to do our regular workout. I noticed Dinero must have an itch. As we leave, he starts rubbing his head on the post.
He was unbuckling his halter. Note the “quick release” knot on the post. Why bother untying yourself when you can remove the halter?
Hudson, below, ticked that Dinero gets to eat grass and knock around while he has to work.
You’re toast, Dinero. I am SO telling…
I get off, retrieve the halter, catch Dinero, walk back to the post, tie him up again, this time with the end of the halter tucked under the buckle, so it can’t be rubbed open.
As we trot off, I look back. Dinero is quietly tossing his head up and down. A fly must be bothering him. He’ll live.
I set Hudson up in a bigger trot rhythm, counting and looking down (I know, I know) to see if I’m keeping the pace. Which is partly why I don’t notice, until we turn the corner. Dinero has flipped the entire loop of lead up off the post, and is making his way back to that tasty spot of grass, head held high so the lead won’t drag.
Now Hudson is really miffed.
At least I don’t have to get off. We walk over to Dinero, who looks up with “who, me?” innocence. I lean over and snag his halter, working my way down to the lead while Hudson feints an air-snap show of annoyance near Dinero’s face.
Dinero looks at him mildly.
You’d do the same thing. You know you would.
I drop the reins on Hudson’s neck, and cue him to turn around and walk back to the tying spot, using both hands to try and unknot Dinero’s lead. It’s a puzzle. How did he make such a glob out of a quick release knot? Hudson is all over wanting Dinero tied up again, so it’s easy to cue him with my seat. I’m still teasing out the tangle when I ask Hudson to push Dinero sideways against the rail, so I can tie him again.
This time, I tie him to a rail, not the post. As we trot off, Dinero, defeated, cocks his hoof. He’s completely unperturbed.
I think his eyes are closing.
He sure knows how to irritate Hudson.
They make me laugh. Half the fun of ponying is getting to watch the horses bicker like little kids. Especially after I switch out. Then I’m riding the horse that had already been ponied, and leading the horse I’d ridden: Who Doesn’t Have To Work As Hard As YOU, HA Ha…I win!