I enjoyed the beginning of the fourth of July by cleaning alone at Sarah's. It was strange and unusual; all the lessons were gone, even Sarah herself was, and all the horses were tired and quiet after returning from the weekend's big horse show. I finished off my cleaning there, then headed to Milo to start on those pastures. Finally done with all chores now, I was ready to spend time with my horse who had two days off over the weekend due to my busy work schedule.
Initially, he seemed as though he needed some groundwork to bring his mind back to me, but as soon as we started he quickly changed his mind and decided to work with me. We had some great and productive work on the ground and it was time to get on. I set the radio to the country station, climbed aboard, and enjoyed the empty arena. It was a hot day (75, which is like a heat wave around here where we were only experiencing 60s) so I left the house in shorts. Knowing that bare skin on the leather saddle would be a bad idea, combined with the warm weather, I decided to just ride in the pink bareback pad.
And I am pleased to report that I havent seemed to have lost my bareback seat. :) I got all of our work done, even worked on (and got some beautiful) counter cantering. I had to remind myself to sit light in my seat to allow Milo to come up underneath me, which was much harder without the aid of the stirrups. But it required me to really tighten my core and stay light in my seat. I must say, by the end of the ride I was panting and my abs were sore. But the workout was great.
I then was able to catch up with the BO about the situation with Milo. We both agreed that there was too much risk in having another horse down below with him, if he was going to display food aggressiveness towards the handlers. I felt (and do) feel guilty about my horse's behavior, but she reminded me that he is a horse with his own thoughts. Although he might respect me, I cannot force him to act the same way towards others. Its the way that he is and unless another person actually cares enough to take the time to work with him and gain his respect, than there is nothing I can do about it. Unfortunately, this is the way things are and we are just going to adapt to make things work.
We both understand that only one horse in the large pasture is not only a gross waste of available space, doesnt make sense, and apparently is seen as unfair towards other boarders. So we decided on a couple of different solution, none of which, it seems, needs to go into immediate effect, but ideas to consider anyways. One is to split the pasture into two, building a temporary t-post and hot tape fence starting from the center of the center and cutting across the field. It would need to be taken down after Milo leaves, and I would have to either help in putting it up, or fork over the cost to pay the barn help to do so.
Another option is to simply move Milo. While the options are limited in places that I will be comfortable with my horse staying in (I dont want him back on a stall, and he also needs free movement for his hocks), there might be the possibility of Diego and another horse going onto the pasture, and Milo taking up the "tree lot". Its a rolling embankment off the other side of the rear driveway (right across where Jake is now) and is a dry lot with its near entirety covered with trees within. Although not ideal, if its the only thing we can get to work, than that is the way it would need to be I suppose.
I'm feeling really lousy about the whole situation. While Milo gets along easy with most any other horse, the issue is the food aggression and protectiveness he gets towards others coming into the pasture. And although I dont experience the problem so therefore cannot fix it for others, its too difficult of an issue to try and side step around. Unfortunately, Milo's happy days in the large grassy pasture might be numbered.