Here are just a few pictures of Slick taken a few days ago. Does he look any thinner? I finally got a weight tape and I think it is defective. It says he weighs 982 pounds. I'd a sworn he was more!
He is smaller than I thought though-about 14,2hh, I can stand next to him and put my arm across his back and rein him back if necessary.
He had his best work out yet today. The area where this picture is taken is a round pen, and it has great sand footing. The boarding operator moved some branches that had fallen into it, so now it is available to use. Yippee!
Slick is friendly- in fact he is one of the friendliest most lovable horse I've ever worked with. BUT he has NO work ethic.
Why would he?
He hasn't had to work in a really long time.
But all that has changed.
After the clinic with Jaq I decided to use some of the showmanship tips with him.
Hmm... can you say respect the chain?
It didn't take Slick long to figure out where to put his feet. They aren't perfect, but they are getting close. He stands like a statue- unless another horse comes by. Then he gets goggle eyed and wants to gaze at them longingly.
Can't say I blame him, after being alone for so long- but it is still unacceptable. It almost breaks your heart to see him try to pay attention to me and yet keep one crazy eye on the passing horse.
Today I saddled him up and rode him with spurs in the round pen. He zigged and zagged around, didn't want to track along the wall of the pen.
So remembering what Sandy Collier always says, you change their direction to change their minds.
Every time he lifted his head to look around, he got pulled into the center of the pen and we changed direction.
The railroad tracks run alongside the road next to the pen too ( oh joy) and when the locomotive came chugging down the tracks, hissing and snapping, he lifted his head... and got checked into the middle of the pen and changed directions.
When a car drove into the driveway, slinging gravel and blaring the radio, he spooked sideways, got checked into the middle of the pen and changed directions.
All this time we never quit trotting, as fast as he wanted to go, as long as he tracked along the pen and didn't drop the inside shoulder. After twenty minutes, he was puffing pretty hard.
So was I!
He never offered to buck though- which is a blessing!
Then it was time to work on Whoa.
I said whoa. Nuthin'.
So I said whoa and squeezed my legs. Still nuthin'. So I said whoa and squeezed my legs and pulled him down to a stop, then backed him up repeating whoa,whoa whoa, changed directions and trotted off.
A few more of those repeats and Slick was listening for that wonderful 'W' word.
Whoa! He lifted his back,got his legs under him and stopped. We did it a few more times, just to make sure he was getting it.
I think that he did great! I can't wait to see how much of it he remembers tomorrow.
On the other pony front though I am very discouraged.
Still no one has bought Desi.
I've even dropped his price radically.
I have never in my life had this much trouble selling a horse!
I can't buy TC until Desi is in a good home.
I'm still trying, marketing him to other horsemen and putting him on websites, but with winter just around the corner it seems like a long shot.
I am really depressed about it.
Such a nice horse, and broke to death, and no one is buying.
Desi is too nice to just give away.
And since I've tried to separate myself from him ( emotionally) now I feel like if he doesn't sell I'll have to try to fall in love with him all over again.
I know that sounds totally stupid.
I feel totally stupid too.
And yet, I just can't give up on the idea that TC should belong to me.
And that there is a perfect girl out there just waiting for a nice horse like Desi to be her one and only.
I'm not getting much sleep, my mind keeps running schemes in my head.
Like The Mask said,
"Somebody Stop Me!"