It’s been a very nice day today. My boyfriend and I actually had all four of the horses on the road today, two at the time. The sun was shining. What do you know, two days ago we had snow and all the horses were wearing heavy winter clothes, and today, Apocalipse and Saleem was allowed to have their clothes off, while the girls got a thin rain coat on for the night. Strange how the weather can change overnight like that.
So, we had Saleem and Marble on the road first, I rode Saleem and my boyfriend walked with Marble. Saleem is our only horse that is old enough to be ridden and I asked my boyfriend if he wanted to ride him, but he preferred to walk today. Marble is only almost two, Saleem is five.
They are amazing horses though. I don’t have a saddle for Saleem, since he grew out of the one I bought for him last year and I sold it and used to money to pay my vet instead of buying him a new one, so at the moment, we are riding without a saddle. That is, I rode a five year old Arabian, that has hardly worked all winter because of the snow, without a saddle, accompanied by a two year old thoroughbred mare.
It kind of sounds like a recipe for disaster when you say it like that, but really, they are extremely well behaved both of them. I know that I have written before that Marble is a bit of a challenge, with her hot temper and her biting and kicking issues, but once she has the halter on and leaves the pasture, she is a perfectly well behaved little angel. She never tugs on the rope, she doesn’t kick or bite and if she sees something spooky, she stops, looks and process the information, always arriving at the conclusion that the world, including random mail boxes, trash cans and passing bikes and cars, are not out to get her at all. She is such a clever little girl with the heart of a lion.
Saleem had a good time today, I usually ride him alone, so he thought it was awesome to have one of his friends with him. He stopped more than once, just to poke Marble with his nose, as if he was checking that it really was her and that she was really coming with him. He might not be the most focused horse I have ever worked with, but he has the biggest heart of them all and the strongest spirits. You can’t help but smile when you are around him. Nothing ever gets him down.
We then decided to take Apocalipse and Tardis for a little walk as well. Not too long, Apocalipse is still thin from when he was sick and I am fighting like crazy to make him gain weight, so exercising him is not the best plan. Still, he gets bored when he is left on the pasture too much. He is strikingly intelligent, just like his mother was, and he needs to use that clever mind of his. He is turning three this year and I am not going to ride him until next year when he turns four, because I don’t think his body is ready for it, so we are going to have to find other ways, like going for walks, to keep his mind busy.
I have never walked with Tardis before. She wasn’t supposed to go for a long walk either, it was way too hot and she is way too pregnant at the moment, but I really wanted to get started handling her by now, for more than one reason. Tardis is turning four soon, with her due date in May, she won’t be ridden until late in the fall, perhaps not until next spring, but I would very much like to be able to work with her from the ground before that, preparing her for what is to come.
She has a bit of a tendency to “run you down” not respecting your space when I am with her on the pasture, and that needs to be addressed before she is ready to be ridden, preferably before the foal is born. Horses that have a foal for the first time can become rather violent in order to protect their foal, and it would be nice if she respected me before the foal was born. Also, come fall when the foal needs to be weaned, I would like Tardis to trust me.
So, walking with your pregnant, three year old Arabian mare, for the first time, accompanied by a hyperactive two year old Anglo Arabian, does sound a bit like something that could easily blow up on your face as well. Apocalipse do not like cars much, so I was a bit fearful about how Tardis would handle it. If they both freaked out over the cars, it would be a very short trip.
I had a bridle on Tardis. My boyfriend had a bridle on Apocalipse as well. We always walk him with a bit on, because he has had a tendency to run off when he was younger and I need to be sure that that doesn’t happen in the middle of traffic. Besides, he is old enough now, to learn how to handle the bit.
So yes, I placed a bridle on Tardis as well, making sure that if she freaked out, I could hold her, and I brought a whip, just in case she started crowding my space. Yes, I use a whip. Evil me. I don’t use it for hitting though, I use it for stronger signals. If she comes at me and I need her to see me, the whip can make a sound in the air, or make me look bigger in front of her if I raise it above my head.
Turns out, I didn’t use it at all. Tardis was perfectly well behaved, she didn’t mind the cars, she kept up with Apocalipse and the high speed he set, and despite the heat and her heavy stomach she looked like she was enjoying the trip. She didn’t pull on the rope once, making me look a bit like an idiot, wearing a bit and holding a whip.
I am so damaged from all of my years with Poseidon and Apollon. I mean, I know that Tardis is a GOOD horse, I read horses rather easily, and I really didn’t expect her to be trouble at all, in fact I would have been surprised if she had been and still, I always expect the worst.
I sure have learned my lesson from the two red boys. I will never trust a horse until it has proven itself to me, and I will never completely trust my assessment of a horse I don’t know well, until I have been proven right, simply because Poseidon and Apollon were GOOD horses as well, they really were, they just tended to blow up in my face when I least expected it.
So, a very nice day, nice enough to write about, and now I am going to spend the rest of the night keeping my fingers crossed that they won’t get sick from having their heavy winter clothes removed… But I guess I always need to worry about something.