Well, it's been an interesting couple of weeks. Wolfie is back in work, not as consistently as I'd like, still due to the unpredictable weather, but I've managed to get him doing something every other day. I've just been hacking around the fields, walking and increasing the length of time we're out. It would appear however, that my little horse has returned after his winter off bigger, stronger and more opinionated than ever. Last week I took him for a short hack on a route we've taken loads of times. As we were approaching a farm house, we were just wandering along. Wolfie was looking at something but didn't seem too anxious. Then he just span 180 degrees and bolted. When I say bolted, I mean that flat out, dangerous blind panic, sheer flight reaction. I managed to pull him up, he stopped dead stuck his head between his knees and bucked for about 2 minutes. Just as I was thinking this is it, he's going to have me off, I managed to get his head up and he stood rock still, the adrenalin pumping through both of us. He scared the living daylights out of me. He's never reacted so violently to anything and I couldn't even see what had caused it. We're still on a huge learning curve and the main thing with him at the moment is it's all unknown. I don't know quite how far he will go or how far I can push him. I managed to get myself together and began to try and ride him back down the field. It's a fairly steep hill and I have to traverse across it. Wolfie just wanted to gallop down it. Crossing back towards the house, he spooked again, reared and ran backwards down the hill. Eventually we made it down and he relaxed and walked home on a loose rein.
In hindsight, it was very cold, I should have put an exercise sheet on him, it was quite windy and the light was poor. I went over and over it in my mind, trying to work out what had happened. I spoke to my friend who told me that the people at the house have recently got chickens and when they are out, they scratch behind the hedge. Maybe Wolfie could hear them and that's what caused the spooking. Anyway, we both agreed that the best course of action was just to forget about it. I hacked him the next day, taking him on a different route. He had a mild spook and buck, but it was more freshness and him looking for a reason to be silly than anything. We passed the bottom of the house, I didn't go right up and turned him on my terms to head for home. Apart from that, he's been pretty good. We're ready to start building up the trot work. So far, I'm pleased with the new bit. Wolfie's keen to play with it and he doesn't back of it as he did with many of the others I've tried.
Wolfie has always been bottom of the pecking order in the field. He's turned out with 5 other geldings and he's the youngest. When he was first introduced to the field, he was only 2 and he had a pretty rough time of it. He wouldn't stand up for himself and would just get out of the way. He's now decided, that the time has come for him to move up the line. He's changing the herd dynamics and at the moment he seems intent on world domination. He's been getting himself in a few scrapes. He loves to play more than anything, and the others often find him annoying. Yesterday when I arrived at the yard, he was playing with one of the other geldings. It looked pretty friendly until I heard that deep groan, the one they make if they've been hurt. I went out to check on Wolfie. I immediately looked at his legs and couldn't see anything. I was standing at his head when I noticed blood all over the sleeve of my jacket. I looked at his face and he's been bitten badly on his top lip. I brought him in and it was bleeding a lot. It was one of those, will I, won't I get the vet. The problem with Wolfie is that he detests the vet. It's unfortunate, but a combination of everything he's been through and the only time he sees the vet is for a jag or if something is wrong. I have faith in my vet, but the last time I called them out for a cut on Wolfie's leg, they had to look at him from the door. I had already cleaned it, so the vet just left antibiotics and bute as a precautionary. They aren't able to physically touch him unless he's sedated. I also don't like to compromise him with antibiotics unless really necessary. He's had more than a lifetime's worth of drugs put into him. I flushed the cut on his lip with saline solution. It stopped bleeding. I just decided to leave it and see how he was. He was a bit subdued for a while, but still managing to eat. It must have been stinging, but he didn't seem too bothered. Just need to keep it clean and see how he goes. Hopefully in that area, it will heal quickly. I got him some echinacea to add to his feed, to try and keep his immune system boosted. The other horse had a completely skint nose. Horse play gone too far. Note to Wolfie, please keep out of trouble.