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April 12, 2014: Horse training: Lifre

A few months ago I told Terri Mielke that Nick Cassara was looking for a home for his gelding, Lifre. Terri then took him on. He was to be a companion horse for her horse Joe, and her husband Bob’s riding horse. Lifre fit right in at their place.

Shortly after Signy died, on a whim, I asked Terri if we might borrow Lifre for the summer, so that Pete would have a riding horse; it was my thinking that Tinni wouldn’t be able to handle the longer rides. I hated to ask this because I hate to ask anyone for anything. But Terri said sure. And when I mentioned this to Pete, he said that he thought it was a good idea.

This was why today, Pete and I found ourselves testing the loaner horse waters. Terri had suggested that we go for a ride with Deb Moore’s posse, so this is what we did. Pete would then get a chance to ride Lifre and see if he and this horse were compatible. I decided to ride Tinni rather than Raudi. This turned out to be a wise decision. It was what Deb called “an urban ride,” meaning the ten mile trek mainly took place along local roads. There were also several road crossings. So if say, I’d ridden Raudi, my focus would have been on her rather than on Pete and Lifre.

It all went well. I was nervous for the first five minutes mainly because I’m not a big fan of riding with groups. But I then realized that I was riding Steady Eddy Tinni, who does not care what horses, or how many he goes out with. We mainly stuck to the rear of the pack, and observed the horses in front of us. As I told people, he was conserving his energy. And yes, I was so right. At the half way point, when he knew he was going in the direction of home, he picked up the pace, and stayed right behind Pete and Lifre.

Lifre did buck a few times. And Pete said that early on he was very forward. But in the end, it appeared as though the two had bonded somewhat. Lifre is a very friendly horse, and he took to Pete, I think because he used to belong to another guy.

At the ride’s end, Lifre willingly got in the trailer, I think because it is the Cadillac of all trailers. And once home, he willingly went into the shelter pen. It was then that the fun began. Tinni walked over to far shelter. Lifre then introduced himself to Hrimmi and Raudi. Raudi then began acting like she was going into heat. It was when she disappeared around the side of the shelter that Lifre began getting anxious. So I put him in the big pen with the mares, and Tinni in the smaller pen. I figured that this will work well because Tinni won’t attempt to break out of his quarters.

I am hoping the two get along because I don’t want Tinni to spend his summer in the smaller pen. He was quite happy with things the way they were, so this really is an unfair disruption. We’ll see how it goes. If it doesn’t go well, we’ll return Lifre to Terri’s place.

Both Pete and I miss Siggi and Signy so much – my hope is that having Lifre around temporarily will make us both feel better. It is at least worth a try.

Next: 103. 4/13/14: Horse Training and the New Herd Order