Last Saturday I went to the barn later in the day to ride Happy and Blade. Zac hasn’t met Happy yet and I had him stop by after work. Happy was forward and just wanted to run as usual. Blade through me for a loop, though.
By the time I finished with Happy, got Blade, and walked him to the indoor arena it was nearly 8:00 or 8:30 PM and the sun had gone down. The horses had been brought in and fed a couple hours before and they were settled in the barn for the night.
Blade and I worked on the ground doing some liberty work to show Zac how far we’ve progressed with our training. If I recall correctly been several months since Zac has seen Blade and I do anything. Usually we do basic walk/trot liberty through walking together or ground driving. Saturday evening we made a break though. I had all of Blade’s attention and I was able to lunge Blade at liberty. I decided to ask for the canter and he immediately picked it up with the right lead.
AND STAYED WITH ME!
Cantering usually winds this OTTB up and he typically will make use of the full length of the arena, dissociating himself and working into a galloping spree. That night he and I worked as a team. I allowed him to move out into a large circle (he’s a big boy and needs room to move) but he kept to it, keeping one ear and eye on me.
I only kept this up for 5 minutes or so to make sure we worked both directions; I wanted to end it off on a good note. I brought my stick to the entryway, Blade alongside me. I turned to him and gave him the signal to “go loose” which usually tells him he’s free to roll and play.
He trotted to the end of the arena, sniffed around as if he’s going to roll, then stood.
He stood quietly like a statue for what seems like minutes so I moved in and “unstuck” his feet. But he just went back to gazing off and standing still.
It occurred to me that he was sleepy. I usually work Blade during the morning or daytime and by interrupting his schedule he was a totally different horse. No rolling, no kicking up the heels. It’s no wonder he stayed focused on my cues at liberty; bedtime and cuddles was all he wanted.
Do horses have a preference on morning or evening? You bet the do!
In the morning Blade could care less about you. Evenings are typically about cuddles.
Other horses like my friend’s QH mare LOVE mornings. In the morning you can give affection and love and it’s not nearly enough but by the end of the day the mare wants her space.
Each horse is different and it’s pretty fun to catch them at different times to understand your horse’s personality inside and out.
Do you know a horse that prefers morning or nighttime?
How does your horse’s preferences work with your own?
Let me hear about you!
MORNING? or EVENING?
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