Marley has been back at our barn for just about two weeks and is slowly settling down and remembering what it’s like to be a horse with a “job” – even if his job right now is not super strenuous.
Overall I’m pleased with his progress. I’ve ridden him 5 times and I think each has been marginally better and less dramatic. It’s possible that I’m projecting, but I really think he likes feeling as though he’s going to “work”. He just marches so proudly toward the arena when he’s tacked up – it’s fun to see him have a little bit of swagger.
While I’m pleased with Marley’s progress under saddle and his health overall seems great, I am a bit concerned about his turnout situation. One of the things I love about our barn is that, unlike many places in California, they actually have sizable paddocks and horses are out from 9am until 4 or 5pm. Marley has a small, flat paddock that gives him enough room to stretch his legs and maybe buck a bit, but he can’t really work up a head of steam – which for now is fine. The past few times I’ve arrived at the barn mid-day, though, he’s been extremely agitated in the turnout. All I can figure is that his old pasture mate – another red-headed chestnut TB – is in a nearby paddock and does a lot of running back and forth. I have to believe it’s frustrating for Marley that he can’t join Gio on his romps.