Update June 29
Though I am not planning on riding Oz until he’s four, there is lots to do to get him ready. The weather was nice this morning and I finally had the motivation to clean out my horse trailer tack room. Oz was a big helper! He and Chance were very interested, but Oz was right there watching the whole thing and checking out everything I had put outside. Since he was handy, I took the opportunity to put a saddle pad on him. He couldn’t have cared less, so I went a step further and put one of my English saddles on him – no girth. He just stood there and certainly didn’t care about the saddle. I like to do unexpected things, as it builds a lot of trust. After the saddle was off, I put a big tarp, folded in quarters on him. He didn’t care. Pushed it by putting the tarp on his head and neck. Left space for him to see and though he was not totally relaxed, he did stand there and wasn’t upset. All of this was without a halter or a lead rope.
He has grown so much the last few months! His butt is about 15:3. He’s a laid back boy, with a stubborn streak. He was gelded on April 11, and refused to stand still after he was given drugs to knock him out. He just kept walking in a circle around me and I could not stop him! Took 3 shots to get him down. The castration took about 20 minutes and he slept another half hour after that. Tough boy. Also, when he is scavenging any potential leftover grain at feeding time, he puts his head down and avoids being caught. Once he’s convinced he hasn’t missed anything, he happily allows the lead rope to be tossed over his neck, or even just follows me to the gate to go back in. I like that he has a stubborn streak. I also like that he will squeeze through the gate to get out – I foresee no issues with the starting gate.
And though many will find this a little out there – he seems to have decided not to answer to “Baby” which is what I used to call him. I have been trying to break that habit, as I don’t want to be calling him Baby when he’s 5! To my surprise I noticed about a week ago that he no longer responds to Baby. I was calling him and he didn’t even look at me. When I called him “Oz” he looked right at me and came over. Is he smart enough to realize he is not a baby and doesn’t like being infantilized? I’ll never know, but I can’t imagine why else he would stop answering to his old nickname.