Friday, April 19, 2024

Ready and Willing

My boy is growing up and earned a new nickname. I will still refer to him here as Tweed or Tumbleweed, but I took to calling him boy this year after the other geldings passed away, and then somehow that morphed into ‘Boo.’ I still sometimes call him “T,” too. My husband calls him Tum-Tum. (He’s probably very confused!)

At any rate, he is such a different horse since the geldings died and left him the sole male in a mare herd. Life got real. It softened and matured him. It almost remade him. 

“Boo” has a soft, easy sound, and it seems to fit the new Tumbleweed, the one getting ready to turn a whopping 6 years old in May.  

I met my trainer today for our first lesson since last fall, and she saw it, too. She couldn’t find the exact word she was looking for, but it’s something of softness and willingness. Agreeable. More yes than no, like he’s waiting for direction. She thought the change was most likely due to the mares, and whatever they’re doing. (My guess is Cowgirl more than the others because since the geldings died, there isn’t  a barrier between her and T, not even Foxy.)

Regina wrote to me afterward and said:

Very exciting work today. He is ready for more:-)

The plan is to work on getting smooth canter transitions this spring so that we’re solid in all gaits and he is able to move confidently under me. Regina said that if anything happened on the trail, or we just want to canter, if he isn’t strong at it he will get anxious, and that could be a mess. 

There is a rider after me taking lessons with a 6 year old Friesian mare. (She’s big and beautiful!) Regina wants us to work together on trail riding. Specifically, riding with, then away from another. And, if they get bothered, work on strategies to calm them. 

I need to call my farrier and request shoes because I think this is all going to move fast this year. 

I am extremely excited, because there is a change in me, too, and it is something like healing into forgiveness, love, and gratitude. 

It’s how you feel when you’ve survived something big. 

My work with Tumbleweed enhances whatever is happening in my heart. It feels like we were made for this moment. 


  1. Makes sense that herd dynamics could affect willingness/being ready. I know when Koda was getting chased around by Nemo, he came inside a nervous wreck. Not willing or ready to do much of anything but get away from the situation. Hence the need to separate our two geldings. Which still blows our mind after 16 years together (they were born one day apart).

    I've also noticed something peculiar with the addition of Hope. It is as if Koda is asking "what about me". Maybe there is growth for our partnership?! It could happen.

    I am super happy to hear that your heart space is opening up for another special horse bond. Not that you didn't love T before, but on a different level. Perhaps your recent vacation (s) helped clarify feelings/life in general. New experiences have that affect on me. I come home "different".

    You are well on your way to living out your dream with your Boo!! He is at a great age. Can't wait to read/see where it will take you two! Yes, you were made for this moment.

    1. I bet Koda will change with that little bit of insecurity. I saw it with Cowboy every time I brought in a new horse. In fact, it seemed to fuel all his recoveries. He did not want to get left behind. That’s crazy about Koda and Nemo. I wonder what’s going on with those two. Our herd functions pretty smoothly nowadays, but there was a time when Cowgirl wanted to kill Tweed. As Epona got older, that changed. Beautiful Girl is the one who manages the herd. She’s the enforcer, not the leader, yet she seems to be the one who chooses the leader. I see her out there managing them all day long, and she has gotten better at it with age.

      About a month ago we found Epona in our neighbor’s pasture. She had jumped the fence. We didn’t make any changes, but it hasn’t happened again. Sometimes I see Beautiful moving her away from it when Epona gets fixated on the green grass on the other side. I feel like she’s my full time horse sitter.

      The vacations were good to make me appreciate what I have at home, and to see the more painful aspects from a safer distance. Life is really much more simple than we know. It just requires love. Lots of love and gratitude.

  2. The only thing constant is change... if we are blessed then change is welcome.
    Good to know that you and Tweed are fitting together so well- and interesting how he has mentally matured with the changing herd dynamics.
    Hope you have some wonderful rides this year!

    1. Yep. And, the concept of using the herd to train your horses isn’t new to me. Cowboy was a monster until we put him out with a herd. He had that orphan foal mentality where he acted tougher than he was. I thought he would be top dog, but when we let them out, he was on the bottom, and stayed there his entire life. They liked him well enough, but for some reason, he was omega and babysitter.

      Rebekah, my other trainer, wanted me to put Cowgirl with Tumbleweed a couple of years ago. For some reason it didn’t work out then, but she was right.

      It’s great…if they survive it, and they usually do, but my herd have been known to injure one another every now and then. Less so now than ever before, probably because they’ve gotten so old.

      I’m looking forward to this year!

  3. He’s growing up. What a wonderful thing.


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