The Literate Horse Continues
I made a chart with six letters on it. "TUCKOA." Tucker's nickname TUCK was scrambled around on the four corners. I had him on the cross ties and asked him if he could spell his name. He hit the letters with his nose in the right order. But then, when I asked again, he would/could not repeat it. He did not show any interest in spelling Chance's name from the letters on the other side of the chart.
So what does this all mean? Absolutely nothing. Did he actually do it the first time? Well he seemed to. But why not again? Or is it just horse mentality--I did it once why should I do it again? He does tend to ride that way. He does not like to repeat an exercise he has done right.
Or, perhaps his nosing the letters really meant nothing, but he was very deliberate about it when he did it. Curious.
Chance was not interested in the chart at all. And once food was introduced into the picture, he completely ignored everything except his feed tub.
Toby spooked at the chart, so I have no idea if he could read a thing.
I will continue with various methods to see if anything creates more consistent interest.
My big lawnmower was brought back today, so I was simply going to drive it to the garage and instead used it to mow the bulk of the lawn until the darn mower deck stopped working again. I have no idea why. Apparently the repair shop found nothing wrong with the deck but did fix the battery issue. I finished up the lawn with the other mower, so things are a bit trimmed up again.
Then, I went for a swim, did my 15 laps, and got home a bit before the Olympic three day eventing dressage final session was being broadcast on the Internet. I ended up watching nearly all the horses go.
Eventing dressage is about at the US third level, so that's where I hope Tucker will be by next season. If he can go half as well as the horses I saw, I'd be pleased. Even the naughty ones were fun to watch. I really think I enjoy the eventing dressage more, in some ways, than the regular dressage. For one thing, the horses are so fit and "on the muscle" they are much more likely to do silly things. But, even better, they have a certain energy and "joie de vivre" the Grand Prix horses lack. They are so alert, so eager to go. And I love their expressions after the test is over and the crowd begins to applaud. What a group of wonderful horses! I just hope they all do the cross country happily and safely.
The horses are all going to be trailered to the cross country venue which is at a large golf course outside of the city of Hong Kong. I now have the TV network that's going to show the horse eventson my cable system and, obviously, much of the competition is going to be shown live on the Internet at the NBC TV website. This should be available worldwide so here is the web address for any international fans who want to stay up late or whenever to watch. http://www.nbcolympics.com/equestrian/index.html
The streaming video of the dressage was great. There were no extraneous sounds, just what you could hear in the Olympic stadium. If you wanted commentary, there was a box to click offering live typed in remarks. I just enjoyed hearing the horses' rhythmic snorting and the sound of hooves.
By the time the dressage was finished, it was after 9 PM. I finally headed out to the barn, put on the arena lights and lunged all three horses. Tucker was very involved and watched, with definite intensity, as I lunged Chance. Toby did not want to be caught but finally gave in for a treat.
All three were good boys on the line.
I really plan to ride tomorrow. Hopefully nothing too grand will distract me.