or maybe it was the next day when Ollie demanded a rematch..
Either way, he overdid it. It's gone down quite a bit and as of yesterday afternoon it was practically disappeared. For an old guy he sure does have some zip on his doo dah!
The weather has remained spectacular! Clear cold nights, warm bright sunny days. This can make for slippery footing at times until the mid morning sun warms things up. It also causes roof snow avalanches. A novelty for my busy body gray.
I took Ollie into the indoor arena to be worked and he was very jumpy. He kept steering clear of the ends of the barn and would startle at any noises he heard. Since he was jumpy, I lead him around the arena so he could check it out. I remembered in my "notes to self" that Ollie's not the bravest sort of guy and he relaxes much more when everything is written out for him in large letters in crayon. So I let him check everything out to assure him that there were no horse eating monsters around. Then I longed him with our baling twine draw reins (which he broke twice from little spooks) before I got on him. Slowly he overcame his fears and got into work mode. Then I got on and we walked all over the arena to keep his mind on me and off of the snow and ice on the roof which he was sure was going to fall while he was in the arena. Ollie has witnessed the crashing snow/ice while out in his paddock. Then, of course, it's his duty to alert his "gang of merry men" to the danger by running all around with his tail up in the air. I'm guessing he could sense the loose snow/ice while in the arena and wanted to be on the ready to alert his buddies.
We ended up being lucky and avoided any major avalanches while I was in the saddle. He eventually became extremely relaxed in his jaw and through his back. He was terrific! I repeatedly told him how brave he was throughout the ride and chatted with him to build up his confidence and get him relaxed. He loves to be spoken/sung to. The more you coo to him the more relaxed he becomes. The minute you raise your voice is the minute his head pops up in the air and he starts looking all around. So babbling/singing on and on with Ollie is a good thing for him. I know the show ring judges won't like it (especially my singing) but I'll bet that whomever is on him for his first few shows will be chatting to him the whole time. He needs it and it works!
I cleaned up Ollie and put him back out with the gang of merry men to enjoy the bright warm sunshine. And finally before I left I shot a couple pics of the daughter of one of my barn friends and their dog to practice my photo skills while they were hanging out at the barn:
All in all we had a great day!