|Idk wtf hes doing with his hind legs but that isn't how he normally stands lol|
|Pats for good babeh!|
While Merlot is significantly older than Czoltar, his lack of consistent training always make me question how they each will respond to something "new".
For example: because I've had Czoltar nearly his whole life and have maintained his farrier care hes nearly reliable to be trimmed and isn't too fussy. On the other hand, because I just got Merlot and finally brought him home, his past farrier care has not been regular his whole life. So when the farrier came out to trim him, he acted like Z did at 6 months old and was a spooky hot mess.
For the most part, my training with Z has been pretty lax. In a large part because I'm so busy, but also because he only turned 2 in June. I want him to just worry about being a horse while he grows up, but I have worked to make him easy to catch, easy to halter, easy to lead, and easy to load. Besides that, there isn't much more I would want him to be able to do as a 2 y/o. Since hes largely just been turned out on pasture his whole life until we moved to the new RWF, I've never worried about a blanket. But now that hes in the barn and goes out every day for group turnout, I thought getting him desensitized to a blanket would only be beneficial for his future training.
Merlot on the other hand spent most of his life (to my understanding) in a dry lot with no blanket or no cover. Hes a tough little dude. But hes always been on the ribby side and I want him to be a healthy weight and not have to spend all my money feeding him to keep his weight up.
So last week when I knew it would be cold at night, I brought out Riesling's old blankets (because I'm too lazy to measure them to buy their own) to try them on the boys. Because Merlot is broke to ride, I thought he would be good to put a blanket on, but hes also been super spooky so I wasn't 100% sure. Like a champ, he snorted at the trash bag containing the blanket, snorted at the blanket, but stood like a rock for me to put it on and let out a long sigh after everything was adjusted to fit.
I decided for Czoltar's first meeting with the blanket I'd try it on in his paddock where he would be more comfortable rather than the cross ties. He also snorted at the blanket and was a little noodly to rub it on his shoulders but really he was behaving pretty well. I was able to drape the blanket folded up on his back and he didn't seem to mind. As soon as I began unfolding the blanket and pulling it across his back though, he went bug eyed and "ran" forward (mostly like a strong power walk). I had my BF holding him for me at the time (I know I'm mean) and advised him to just walk him in circles until he relaxed. This happened rather quick and then I began to buckle the chest straps and rub my hands on top of the blanket all over him. He rushed forward to avoid the pressure again, but after a seconds of walking determined everything was ok.
Because it was Riesling's though, it was swimming on him and I didn't feel like it would be safe to keep on him so I began to pull it off his hind end towards his shoulders. Rush forward, circle, rinse, repeat. Once it was off I rubbed the blanket over him again and despite his bug eyes he stood to take his torture. Really a rather uneventful first meeting to the blanket despite how I made it sound.
Smaller rain sheets are now on order for both boys! No more nekky ponies in winter!