In which poor Flurry has to do some work…
Every Autumn, I face the same challenge. Hundreds and thousands of acorns falling from the tree, and a fat dun cob who likes to eat them. The theory around here is that, if a horse is eating small amounts of acorns all the time, his system gets used to them. I’m not convinced, and I have both my horses on Hilton Herb’s detox to try to support their liver and kidneys through this period.
But in addition to the toxicity issue, acorns are full of fats and carbohydrates (almost 50/50, with a small percentage of protein), which blow Flurry’s mind, to the extent that he becomes quite unpredictable at this time of year. Move your horse away from the acorns, I hear you say? Where to? We are surrounded by a huge oak forest, and all of the paddocks have lots of scrub oaks plus a few bigger ones for shade. And I really, really don’t wish to leave the farm… we are all happy there.
So this year, I have decided to accept the fact that my dodgy back is not capable of working Flurry well enough or hard enough to keep him sane at this time, and I’ve asked Oriane to ride him a couple of times a week. Today was the first time.
She worked on yielding to the rein… whereas I make excuses like “Poor Flurry is built downhill, of course he’s heavy on the hand,” she just insisted that he yield to her before she softened the rein.
She worked on going forward – not his favourite thing.
She worked on left bend – he loves to block his left shoulder and go “I CAN’T!”, but she insisted.
She did plenty of canter work – the most I can do is a couple of circles on each rein, and it never feels like I’ve worked him in canter.
Poor Flurry worked up a sweat for the first time in ages.
But I think this will do both of us a lot of good.