However, my out of shape horse had a different idea. Instead, he did a super fast extended trot. I didn't get a picture but it looked a little something like this:
He'd lope a few strides, then break back into that extended trot. He's never been a big loper on the longe line. Bucking, yes. Loping, not so much.
I don't wanna lope, Pony Girl!
My horse had flaring, drippy nostrils. Don't you just love the smell of a warm horse? The sound of them huffing and snorting to clear out their lungs during the cool down walk?
After he cooled off, I worked on touching around his head and ears. You can see how he tenses up. He's not consistent. One minute he'll bury his head against you so that you can rub the itchy spots around his ears. And when he's eating treats out of a bucket, I can practically turn his ears inside out and he could care less. Other times, such as when I'm grooming his head, he acts as if you are going to cut them off.
Finally, he begins to relax. I can lightly use the pressure points on the bridge of his nose and on his crown to ask him to drop his head to the ground.
After I put on his new shiny green breakaway halter (his other one lost a chicago screw) I left him staring after me at the gate.
Ironically, this horse, looking longingly after me like he wants out of that pasture, is the SAME one that also ran away from me and gave chase for 5 minutes before letting me snap the lead on his halter!
But really, could you resist this look?
I went up to the feed shed to load his new bag of grain into it's can, refill his joint supplement tub, and put the grooming tools away. Then I grabbed a few more cookies (he'd already had a handful and a sliced apple after I brought him out!) and took them back up to him.