Not much is new to report with Charlie as for the past couple of weeks my life has been pretty centered around my job, leaving limited time and energy for the barn. The veterinary hospital where I work has been going through a lot of changes recently, adding several new staff members and additional services (including late night and weekend ER services). As Client Service Team Lead that leaves a lot of the front end training on my shoulders which, with a practice that is already very busy, is a bit stressful. Additionally, I have been working on completely revamping their website to coincide with all of these changes so that kept me busy as well, both at work and at home, in order to get everything up and running in time.
In horsey news Charlie has started his spring shed, a little later than everyone else it seems, and all the horses at the barn are definitely feeling the coming of springtime and enjoying a renewed sense of energy with the warmer weather over the past few days. Wednesday was the first truly nice day we've had in awhile and all the horses were certainly looking forward to getting out in the sunshine. Every one of them gave me a hard time at turnout, even the usually calmer ones. Charlie was no exception; he was literally dancing in place in his stall he was so excited. Not behavior I'd normally be proud of, but I was proud in that he did not let his excitement take over and bowl me over to barrel out the door. Instead he was able to listen and keep himself in check long enough to take a few breaths and regain control, and then he lowered his head to walk out calmly (well, calmly enough. I still had to use a chain). Once I turned him out he had a good roll and then squealed and kicked his heels up so high I thought he would crack his back.
I opted not to push my luck and try riding the crazy devil that day. Instead we did a short lunge session where I just asked for walk-trot transitions. I expected some wild and crazy buck sessions but surprisingly, despite some grunting, he listened well. After we had accomplished several decent transitions he was licking his lips and lowering his head so we called it a day. I believe not every session is about how long you work, and I wasn't interested in pushing him far enough to initiate a fight.
Actually, I haven't really been riding Charlie all that much (although it's making me a little crazy). I'm slightly concerned because he's been getting girthy, biting at the saddle when I tack up as well as
when I brush him (particularly on the right side) and if I do get on and ride for a little while he often will try to bite at my feet. I don't know whether it is discomfort or just obstinance, so I have a call in to Dr. Katz for a chiropractic evaluation and saddle fitting. If all turns out ok then I will push through the tantrums and treat his outbursts as purely behavioral things but, if not, then there's no point in riding until he's feeling more comfortable. We'll see what the Doc says. Hopefully he can come out within the next week.