Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dig Goes Camping

Diego got to experience overnight camping at a ride site this past weekend while I managed the Comstock Endurance Ride out in Lemmon Valley. This should end up being a really value-added experience for him and his future career as an endurance horse (crossing fingers). It also worked out REALLY well logistically, since Diego has been staying just two blocks from ride camp, so I was able to bring my camper and trailer over empty, and then just walk around the corner more or less to go pick him up. I went and fetched him on Friday and he spent Friday and Saturday nights camped out with us. My mom came up from California and stayed in my camper with me, she brought her Tennessee Walker - Joe to ride as well, so Dig had a neighbor to keep him company when they weren't riding.

Overall, Diego did really well camping out. He only shook the trailer/camper once the first night, but by the time I got up to see what he was doing, he was standing there looking sleepy and innocent. There were a few things that needed to be worked out though:
1. Diego is not allowed to have a water bucket. These equal a play thing in his mind. I tried, but he just wouldn't leave it alone. I took it away when he picked it up and was holding it in his mouth, daring me, and then dropped it when I walked over to him - totally splashing me with the wave upon impact with the ground! =) From then on I had to walk him over to the community tank, a 200+ gallon affair that he still tried to pick up with his teeth and play with.
2. Diego's hay bag is prone to attacking him by attaching itself to the snap on his halter temporarily. This will occur when you are having the ride meeting and 30+ people are standing around not 10 feet from where Mr. Dramatic is tied. He will freak out, pull back, and fall over onto the ground, at which point - he realizes 30+ people are staring at him and he'll get up and look embarrassed.

On Saturday, the day of the ride, Bob came over and rode Diego around camp bareback for a while. It was pretty windy, but didn't seem to cause any additional issues. He did very well, taking most everything in stride. He even went in between the arena fence and the metal bleachers for watching the horse shows. Diego got to follow us as we moved a table and drug around some chairs, and served as the "test dummy" in the morning while we were trying to see if the heart rate monitors were working.

Overall I was very proud of my boy. He did great for his first "camping" trip and really took the whole environment of the ride in stride. Check that step off the list to becoming a future endurance mount!


txtrigger said...

Go Dig! Give him water at home in a bucket. I bet after he dumps it a few times and goes without water for short periods, he will get bored with it. Also, think of giving him a toy that is better than the bucket. A friend would buy those white boat bumpers in Wal-Mart. They have grommets on each end to tie them to the side of the boat. Her horses loved to play with them.

I bet your lead rope does not have a bull snap on it, does it. *grin* I saw a horse once with the handle of the bucket caught on the snap, hanging under the horses chin. It was not pretty. lol I don't have any snaps with the slider that opens with thumb any more.

Dig does sound like a fun guy. Looking forward to seeing him turn in to the endurance horse you want!

~ C said...

He has toys at home (empty milk jug, a hula hoop, plastic cone, etc) but I don't have any trailer toys for him. Need to find something quiet, since I don't want to listen to him rattling and banging with it all night. I'll have to get him some boat bumpers to play with though at home, I bet he'll love those!

The lead rope doesn't have a bull snap, it has one of those twist snaps, that you turn to get the center piece to pop open (a la Clinton Anderson/Parelli type, but the generic version!). I love those because they will open under any amount of pressure and release the horse, with a bull snap you may need to get enough slack to be able to then unhook the ring. The hay bag didn't get caught so much as he was digging out the bits on the bottom and it just sort of stuck on the edge between the snap and the leadrope for long enough to come "at" him when he lifted his head. One teeny shake and it came loose, but he had to be DRAMATIC! (roll eyes)

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