So Apollo has been here a week now, and I thought you may all like an update on the little monkey.
The general consensus about Apollo is that he is “cute” and such a baby. But behind those brown eyes is a toddler about to have a tantrum!
Apollo had to stay in for 48 hours last weekend t make sure he didn`t have any germs, so on Sunday he was ready to be turned out. I`d ummed and ahhed about which field he should go in, and eventually decided he would be better off with two big, older geldings who were very gentle as opposed to the herd of nine boisterous mature geldings. I lunged Apollo first thing Sunday morning to make sure he was sensible to go into the field. He had been very quiet but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry. We turned him out in the morning, watched him make friends with the other two before settling down to a bit of hay and good grass.
All`s well in that department, so I thought nothing more until Monday morning, when I got a text at 7am saying that Apollo had been found outside his field making friends with the horses in the other paddocks.
So I check the fencing and it`s all up. The electric has tripped, but the tape was still taut. I lunged him again, and turned him out before I rode Otis, and then I could check Apollo was still inside the boundaries a couple of hours later. He was.
A nervous night later, and I found Apollo had remained in his field. However, 10am arrived and a livery turned out their horse and met Apollo on the track to the fields! Upon close inspection of the fields I found a small gap where Apollo had wriggled through to get to the lush grass just the other side. Quarter of an hour later and an old gate was propped up to block the gap and tied down.
It would appear the problem is solved as the rest of the week he has stayed in his field, been very willing to catch, and seems to have made good friends. Crunch point came on Tuesday evening when the other two horses came in together, but once Apollo realised he had two neighbours he grazed contentedly in the middle of the field.
I`ve been waiting for the saddler to come to Apollo before I really start working him properly, so most of this week has been spent on the lunge, and using the Pessoa. He seems to be a quick learner as he softens and stretches down onto the Pessoa more easily now. Last night, though, I found a saddle which was an OK fit, so rode him in walk and trot. I was anxious he wouldn`t forget about the riding part while we waited for his own saddle. He was fab really; the yard was quite busy with lots of things to look at as he was going round the arena. Including the eight drains surrounding the arena. After a good look they weren`t a problem. Until he got to the ones near C! Now they were very scary! The drain monsters obviously live in those because Apollo wouldn`t even go round the edge of the arena!
Before work this morning I decided to ride Apollo again, as it fitted in better with me day and I didn`t want him to stay in the stable and redecorate again. I brought him in and tied him up outside, only to discover that he had attitude on him this morning. He fidgeted whilst I picked his feet out. Or tried to. The front feet were not a problem, but as I walked towards his flank he wriggled around, so I asked a passing livery to hold him still. He stood. But as I lifted his leg he kicked out. So I tried again, holding onto his feathers tightly while he waved his leg around. There was some force in those weedy hind legs! I stood up and shouted sternly “Apollo! Stand up!”. In shock his head came up and he jumped backwards with an expression on his face as if to say “What do you think you`re doing telling me off?” After five minutes of trying on both legs and Apollo getting more and more angry I decided to ride and pick them out after, when he was tired. So I flicked the mud off, and then put his brushing boots and saddle on. Then I got myself ready, and whilst zipping up my gaiters Apollo struck out with his foreleg at the half full skip bucket, tipping it over towards him, where he proceeded to stamp at it, squashing the orange bucket to a pulp.
When I told him off he gave me that look again!
Bridle on, I led him to the arena where he jogged round, pretending he was in the Grand Parade. There was no rush, I wouldn`t mount until he`d checked the drains for monsters. A fellow livery held him and he stood still while I got on and we proceeded to have a good workout. Lots of circles in walk and trot, and he was starting to soften and lift him back on his own accord. He is a bit nosey though, and took great delight in gawping at the horses coming in and out.
Tomorrow I think I`ll lunge him, and then early next week a friend is going to escort us round the block so he gets to see a bit more of the world and doesn`t become sick of the arena. It`s a useful tool to be able to hack him out, even if it`s just a cool down or a warm up.