Bored Gen

My horse is making it clear that he is bored. He was retired all the way back in 2007…that is 6 years ago now! He was only 15 when he was retired and I think being retired so young is starting to get to him. Everyone once in a while he will get bored and will do things like take down the fence and run around the farm. I will realize he is bored, do something with him for a while, have him get pissy about doing it and then go back to doing nothing with him.

Gen is really smart. One of the smartest horses that I have ever know. He can always figure things out, and often he does so rather quickly. After the Buck clinic I spend 2 weeks working with him everyday and by day 3 he already knew what to do. By the end of week 2 he was bored with doing the same things and got annoyed with me and started to act up. Since we have very clear vets orders that he is supposed to be QUIET, I stopped doing it.

This happens over and over again. I taught Gen to follow hand signals. It took a few days to learn them and then he does it, and then he decides a few days after figuring it out that it is stupid. I don’t know how to keep him entertained anymore. Between tricks and carrot sticks I feel like he can do anything, but only when he is in the mood. When he is in a bad mood it is hopeless, and since I am worried about his leg I don’t feel comfortable working through the temper tantrums most of the time.

I know a lot of you are going to say to ride him. And believe me I want to. I only have medical clearance to ride him at the walk though. Gen is a hot horse, even at 21. I cannot guarantee that I can keep him at the walk, or even that I can keep all 4 feet on the ground when riding him. If Gen lets himself out of the field and runs around and nearly kills himself slipping, sliding and falling over that is on him. If he hurts himself under saddle though that would be on me. And I have worked way too hard to keep him alive all these year to lose him like that.

So now the question becomes how do I keep my horse entertained. No one else will put their horse out with him so that is not an option. Even though he plays over the fence that is clearly not enough for him at the moment. He wants to do something, but I don’t know what. I need mental stimulation with not a whole lot of physical involvement. He loves having his picture taken, but he is so gross all the time right now I don’t want a record of that! I just don’t know what to do with him. I told the cats to hang out more, but I doubt they will listen. Gen needs a project. Any ideas?

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