Wolfie the Wonder Horse!

Wolfie the Wonder Horse!
Wolfie, 24/02/08

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Wolfie is fed half haylage half hay at night. I've always put his feed/ hay etc on the floor for him to eat, which he seems to prefer. I try to mix the hay and haylage so that he can have enough to keep him occupied during the night. It's a long time to be standing with nothing to do and if he's occupied the less likely he is to get up to mischief. He eats every blade of haylage and then plays with the hay, dragging it through his bed and burying it at the back, resulting in me having to throw away large amounts of hay every day, and with the price of hay at the moment I can't afford for him to be wasting it. He can't have haynets as he paws them and ends up tangled up in them. I thought about various alternatives including a hay bar, but decided he would just haul the hay out and chuck it on the floor or destroy whatever the hay was kept in (wolfie has rubber everything in his stable). My dad kindly fixed up an old hay rack and fitted it in his stable. The plan being that he could still have his haylage on the floor, but the hay would be in the rack, so it was there if he wanted it, but he couldn't waste it. He was less than impressed when I brought him in, snorting and pawing the ground at the hay rack. He didn't touch a blade of hay out of it the first night, however the next night and last night he has eaten a little. I think the cold weather has helped, making him a little hungrier as I thought his haylage protest would go on for longer. However, I may have won this hay battle, but I very much doubt I will have won the war I'm sure it won't take him long to start pulling the hay out of the rack and dropping it onto the floor.

I was thinking about getting a waterproof exercise sheet, however decided on a fleece sheet in the hope that keeping him a little warmer may make him less inclined to leap around. I got a cheap one out of the saddlery and put it on him yesterday before going for a hack. He looked like a little race horse! It seems to do its job, as although he was still like a bouncing ball, he was much less tense through his back and hindquarters.

I've decided to try and be really disciplined and ride in the school 3 times a week (weather and ground surface permitting) and then hack twice at the weekend. It's difficult as it is an outdoor school and the flood lights create shadows everywhere. Wolfie normally spends his time spooking at his own shadow. I rode him for half an hour in the school tonight. It took him a good ten minutes to settle, but after that he was fantastic. I have started to ask him for a bend. We concentrated on 20m circles, serpentines, figure of eights in walk, with alot of halt transitions in between. Towards the end I asked for a couple of strides leg yield from the three quarter line back to the track. By the second attempt he had really got the idea and managed a couple of correct strides. He was really trying tonight and with both of us concentrating on something new, he started to really work through his back, walking really forward with that big long free stride of his.

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