Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My Labor Day weekend

For Labor Day weekend, Michael, my sister Laura, and I all visited Michael's family. While we were there, I got to spend a good amount of time with my horse, Panama, and we also found a venue for our wedding. (You can read more about that on my wedding blog.) It was the first time anyone from my family has met anyone from Michael's family, so it was a momentous occasion. I am happy to say that my sister got along well with everyone, and we had a great time - although she tells me she is definitely not a "country girl."

Panama has definitely grown a little more since I last saw him! He has finally filled out, too (when we first got him he was quite underfed). Unfortunately, he has also started displaying stallion characteristics - biting, kicking, rearing, and in general reluctant to be worked with - which means he will need to be gelded pronto. Perhaps in a different environment - one where I could work with him every day and train him better - I could have held off for a little while longer, but running wild in the pasture with very little training is only exacerbating the situation.

Catching Panama is probably the toughest part. In these pictures, he did pretty well, other than a little head tossing; but the next day, when I caught him, he pulled me about fifteen or twenty feet on the lead rope before he submitted to being led around. I had to use all my weight to brace myself as he backed up, tossing his head like a wild horse. In a final attempt to lose me, he reared up; I just barely hung on, but when he saw that didn't work, either, he finally gave up. It was a tense few moments, when I had no time to do anything but hang on for dear life and wonder if I was nuts for attempting to train an ungelded colt.

Once Panama stopped fighting me, I petted and talked softly to him for a long time, and then walked him around until he calmed down. Only then did I risk leading him from the pasture to brush him, as I didn't want a repeat of the 4th of July incident, when Panama spooked and got loose. He let me brush him, but was still fairly tense; one of his rear hooves kept cocking to kick me, if need be, so I didn't attempt to comb his tail.

Despite some of the weekend's hangups, I had a great time. It doesn't look like we'll be moving out there right away, though, so most likely we will bring Panama out here next spring or early summer. I very much want him close to me, so that I can work with him every day and develop a better relationship with him.

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