Friday, September 24, 2010

Beautiful Becomes An Everyone Horse

An interesting thing happened last weekend. My husband wanted to move Beautiful from the turnout back to her stall while I was in the house occupied with company and, apparently, when he went to halter her, she'd have NONE of it. She pulled back, broke free,(before the halter was secured), and ran away. (This was the first time anyone besides myself had ever attempted to catch and halter her--and I didn't even know he was doing it).

This incident pointed out a flaw in my training--which is....she's only been trained for ME. Just little 'ol me. Me, me, me. Oh, and the farrier is allowed to trim her and guests to pet her. That's okay, right?

Did I hear you think, quite loudly, the word WRONG?

I guess, maybe, possibly, you're right, and I knew it then. Something had to maybe, possibly change. Of course, maybe, possibly she'd resist that change. (My secret hope). But my husband made his intentions clear--From now on, I WILL take over the catching and walking back and forth of Beautiful Girl.

At first, it was quite fun to watch. She'd look at me, look at him, look at, um, is this OKAY? I offered suggestions--he did it his way--I offered more suggestions--he told me to stop offering suggestions. And then, the big day...the day I backed off...the day I removed me, me, me and my suggestions entirely out of the picture and put myself in the barn where I couldn't see or hear what was happening. The day I allowed another human being to take over with my Mustang.

I was nervous. In my mind, there was that kicking incident when she was a yearling and my friend surprised her in her stall (just weeks after we'd adopted her)....then there was the time she pulled back and fell into the wheelbarrow....then, there was the time my friend's horse (not Beautiful) broke free of the lead rope and ran like a banshee all over my property fleeing the evil lead rope that trailed behind her. The fence was broken down--my entire herd was ready to stampede. you can see, my mind contains a veritable smorgasbord of horse catastrophes.

And, since my favorite--ALL TIME favorite--with no exception--saying is---especially when it comes to horses....


I was Miss Nervous Nellie in the barn....biting my fingernails....pacing. It seemed like it took them forever to make the trek over, and it was so quiet. Doubts began to rise--should I have released control? Should I have taken a risk with Beautiful? With my husband?

Finally, they rounded the corner to the breezeway. Beautiful's eyes looked happy (and relieved) to see me as she walked sweetly at my husband's shoulder. She looked, well, BEAUTIFUL--this gorgeous filly, alert, respectful, elegant. So, that's what it looks like to see it from this perspective, I thought. Wow.

Into the stall they went--door wide-open as he unhaltered her. I closed it up gently behind, honey, she might run out if you unhalter her with the door wide open...I just can't stop myself--this is the barn, after all--my territory--and I'm the keeper of the herd, right? He replied, I would have stopped her. Right or wrong,(maybe he would have stopped her) they made it back safely and I think this marks the beginning of a new era for us--Beautiful is now, officially, an everyone horse.

Maybe, in the back of my mind, I wanted her to always remain a one person Mustang. The sweet little BLM filly who was introduced to humans by me and trusted, forever, only me. Like The Lone Ranger and Silver, I whistle, she comes running--a bandit tries to steal her, she bucks him off.

But, alas, I know (way, way, way back in the very back of my mind) what's really best for her, and always have. As much as I'd like to keep her all for myself and savor that special (and exclusive relationship)--for her own safety, she has to enter the wider human/horse world. Who knows what emergency could require a stranger to get in there and halter and lead her away.

No, it is a GOOD thing and part of her journey. (Though I'm just a little sad).

Beautiful is becoming an everyone horse.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

To The Barn!

I love going to my barn--as you can see, our dogs do, too. They know that in the mornings, when we put on our boots, we're going to feed the horses, and they can't wait to get out there.

We have new barn kitties. I really, really miss #42 and Ezzy, and so far, I've refused to name these new barn sisters. I adopted four--one died--and I gave the healthiest one to my brother and his family since they wanted to make her an inside pet. I couldn't keep her from a better life--the barn life is dangerous.

One of the little sisters has a lazy eye; she's the furriest one. They're both beautiful and sweet. And though I've refused to name them, I'm sure it's no surprise that I'm attached to them anyway. Darn it!!

I think I got attached when Beautiful stepped on the fluffy one with the lazy eye. It bonded me to her. And then I started thinking when Riagan, our Irish Wolfhound, is just a little bit older--the coyotes won't have a chance around here. Maybe these two sisters will survive afterall. Riagan sure loves them. I pity the coyote that intrudes in their barn house someday.

Another good thing about these kitties is that they stay IN the barn. I highly doubt a coyote would venture through the stall runs to enter the barn. The only time we've ever seen them in there is when we leave the breezeway doors open. I don't do that anymore. I always close up the barn when I leave.

So, names? I don't know. I've been calling them "Kitty Sisters".

Here's short-haired kitty sister climbing up my leg. It hurt, so that's the last picture I took, but I'll tell you, she got pretty high.

Maggie and Riagan vying for horse hooves. The shaved off hoof makes a wonderful chew for dogs. They learn to love the farrier.

Ahhh...back at the house...the newly completed (last evening) Puppy Playpen! My husband added a back rail and gate to the deck to keep in the puppy. Now she has a safe place to play.

And MJ, the house cat, has a safe place from coyotes.

Next year's project around here is to pour concrete for a wash area and tack room and extend the deck around the house and into the yard---and extend the roof line to cover it so we can sit out while it rains and look at our horses.