Monday, November 19, 2007

Panama's cabin fever

As promised, here is Thursday's stable story.

Thursday morning, Panama and I had an appointment with his trainer. It was our only session for the week, because I'd been too busy earlier in the week. Unfortunately, I had not worked with Panama all week, either; because it was always dark when I visited, poor Panama hadn't even been turned out to run since Sunday. (Usually, I turn him out into the arena every day and chase him around, so that he gets enough exercise and gets rid of any extra energy.)

The effects of being cooped up for three days straight was quite clear from the beginning. Panama was restless and downright ornery. When he was first set loose in the arena, Panama cantered and bucked more than I've ever seen him do when I turn him out. And even after running hard for several minutes, he was a royal pain in the butt for the trainer. When she had me work him (she's teaching me, too), he kept getting himself all wrapped up in the lines; once he got himself tangled up so badly that he panicked and reared.

Well, after a morning like that, it's hard to settle down enough to actually work. It also didn't help that I had a lot to do after not being there much for three days. Although I'd been picking out his stall each evening, the light in the barn is dim, and it turned out I wasn't doing a very good job of it. It took much longer on Thursday to clean out his stall than it usually does.

On top of all of that, I also had a few errands to run. As a result, by the time I got home my day was more than half over, and anyway all I wanted to do was talk about my horse.

Lessons learned: Don't try to skimp on visits to the stables when I'm busy. It just creates a need for a longer visit when I return to my regular schedule, compliments of Panama's cabin fever — and my withdrawals.

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