My oversize, expensive dog…

I should really call him my big, giant, expensive and dirty dog, but I think at this point the word dirty is an understatement of the level of filth that my child has attained this days. Who knew the hardest part of not blanketing my horse would be in spring for mud prevention!

So anyway, last week when I was struggling you all mentioned that I just needed to go on a trail ride. The thing is, I don’t have a horse to do that on at this second so I can’t just go on the trail ride. I have basically just been a lesson kid since last summer, and at this second I don’t even have lessons anymore.

With Gen’s let shaking under extra pressure as of late I am a little worried about my pony. I was thinking about what I could do to help him out. Since I am not sure if the shaking is coming because it is tired or because it is strained I am not sure what to do. This weekend I decided that either way, maybe if I gave Gen a little mental stimulation he would be better in his field and not run so much. What could I do to entertain my retired horse?

So I brilliantly decided that Gen and I would go for a walk. I would put his boots on just to be safe, but getting a little extra exercise and doing something together would do us both good. It sounded like such a good plan. Yesterday I grabbed my pony, cleaned him up and walked him out the front of the barn. Gen’s world is very, very small these days. He just has his stall, the barn cross ties, and his field. As soon as we cleared the door I noticed an extra pep in his step. Gen was excited to be doing something different! I kicked myself for not thinking of this earlier!

So here I am patting myself on the back as Gen and I start to walk down the driveway, well I am walking, Gen is strutting. The barn I board at is really close to a tail system so my goal for yesterday was just to walk to the entrance to the trails. It was maybe a quarter mile down the driveway and then just a few hundred feed on the road to the entrance and we would turn back. If that walk went well I figured I would buy a pass to the trail system and make this more of a routine. There is nothing as good for clearing the mind as a walk through the woods on your horse, even if you have to walk next to them.

Anyway, so as we are walking Gen is getting more and more up. I am reminding him of his ground manners every few steps but in the excitement of being out he is finding it hard to contain himself. We make about 10 steps away from the end of the fence line (which is halfway down the driveway) before Gen can’t contain himself and tries to make a run for it. I stopped him but he kept trying, and trying so I eventually gave up and went back to the barn with a horse who was very, very excited.

I had his head when he was being bad, so it was no big deal, but it showed me something. I always tease that Gen is my dog, but that is not true. People can walk a dog. I can’t do that with Gen…at least not if I want to keep my arm attached. It was good though, because now I have a goal with Gen. Gen needs to learn how to walk to the road! I am so happy to have a goal with him. It is slightly pathetic that my horse can’t even control himself to walk to the end of the driveway, but it is a sign that I need to do more with him. I am hoping that he will knock off the naughty behavior or else I will have to stop so as not to hurt his leg. I can’t wait to see how far down we get today!

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10 thoughts on “My oversize, expensive dog…

  1. The walk just gave me an idea…why don’t you start practicing in-hand trail with him and some showmanship? Both can be done 100% at a walk and it would give him some good mental challenges. And both can be done within fences until he get a hold of himself to go for longer walks outside! Good goal though!

  2. The man who sold my horse to me said, “Every horse needs two things: Groceries and a job to do.” Sounds like Gen has a new job! And you’re right–it will give both of you something to do, something to do TOGETHER, and the added benefit of exercise is always a good thing. I need to do something besides clean stalls and sit at the computer. Not losing weight or toning up much at my house ;o)

  3. What struck me about this is that some dogs would be the same way, if they never went for walks. If you have a dog that just gets let out in the backyard and doesn’t get walked on a leash, they are the same way — pulling and dragging all over the place. I think it would be great for both of you, beautiful trails, good exercise, enjoying the spring weather, if this became a regular thing. Gives you something to work on with your boy! What could be better than more quality time with Gen?

  4. What a great thing to do! Smart thinking! Play the hand you have been dealt and it looks like you have a bored horse that can only walk and person who just wants to remember why they love horses. Match made in heaven. If were anywhere near me I would take you out on a trail ride in a heart beat. I need a trail buddy that is an experienced rider.

  5. What a great idea! Sounds like Gen really does need something new to do. Now you two can work on something AND have fun together! 🙂

  6. I second Michelle’s first comment. That exactly what I popped on over here to say. Do in-hand trail, and turn him into a trick pony! He’s a smart horse, and smart horses need something to do and to focus on. And I bet you’ll have just as much (probably more right now) fun as riding.

  7. Great idea. Even though I love trail riding I also love walking my dogs on trails too. Every so often I get the urge to get off my horse and just walk with her. Gives her a break and lets me stretch my legs and we also work on walking properly. If you live anywhere near Pittsburgh, PA I’d be happy to entertain a trail ride for you. My sis has an extra horse and we love trail riding!

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