Owner Susan started placing the geldings in their lush summer paddocks this week. Being the excellent caregiver that she is, the ponies only get an hour or so to in the beginning before they are returned to their well-grazed winter turnouts. Time in the summer turnouts will be gradually lengthened until the horses can safely spend the full day on the new grass.
"What about the mares?" you ask. They have the huge front field where they can spread out more.
The grass in the summer paddocks really took off this spring -- it's tall and thick. Yum! I can usually expect Phantom to put on a bit of a tummy and get a little more frisky when the turnouts are switched.
Well, he had a bit of an attitude yesterday. I longed him outside, mounted him in the covered arena, and he immediately tried his hippity-hop-I-want-to-canter routine. I was in the saddle ten minutes when I decided "enough." He got fifteen minutes of longeing with the side reins before I remounted. He gave me the hippity hop once or twice before settling down to work. We ended with much more compliant lateral work.
The partly-my-fault aspect (well, okay, mostly my part) has been a lack of serious work in the past few weeks. It's the I'm-tired-of-arena-work syndrome. A couple of trail rides off the property and I'm not in the mood to work, either.
Obviously, now that Phantom will be feeling frisky with his green grass diet, I should conduct a more demanding longe session before mounting. But to give Phantom some credit, his "moments" are actually pretty tame. He just makes his feelings known -- he's never seriously attempted to be rid of me.
And regardless of how our day goes, I leave him a carrot and apple treat in his feed bucket.
After all, he is my Goober Boy.