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May 2, 2014: Horse Acquisition: Little Horses, Big Decisions

My friends will laugh when they read this dispatch. This is because this one is about the sort of dilemma that Alys would get herself into.

Here’s the deal. We took on Lifre as a loaner horse. This has worked out far better than I could ever have imagined. The first few days were tough. In particular, Lifre and Tinni had issues that had to be resolved. They did resolve them, and now are on very good terms with one another. Lifre was also anxious, and so it was a few days before he settled down. He also attached himself to Raudi, and didn’t want to go anywhere without her.


Raudi and Lifre are now trail buddies, and in fact Raudi has never done better. I don’t know if it’s because she likes being with Lifre, or because she is maturing, but she’s being more consistent gait wise, and overall, she just seems happier when under saddle. Pete’s also finding Lifre to be an exemplary trail horse that, as he says, “will go where I point him.” For instance, yesterday Lifre willingly crossed a creek when Raudi threw a fit. This was not characteristic of her. But she followed him the second time around.

Lifre is also one of the happiest horses I have ever met. He always has his ears up, and is the first to greet me at the gate.

Lifre will return to his more permanent home after the mid-July competitive trail ride. He’s owned by Terri and Bob Mielke, who were gracious enough to lend him to us for the summer. No one around could give a horse a better home. He’ll continue to be ridden, and he might get to do some packing. He’ll also continue to be Terri’s horse Joe’s companion. Terri is also planning on having him ultra-sounded. You see, Lifre has two holes in his abdomen, and in her words “I’d like to find out what’s going on down there.”

In the meantime, I’m now in communication with my good friend Rae, who lives in Canada. Rae just told me that she’s being considered for a job at the University of Manitoba. If hired, she’ll be the director of the Dental Hygiene program. This is a wonderful opportunity, and is in fact her self-described “dream job.” Unfortunately, she’s going to have to part with Teista, her Icelandic mare. Teista’s a small black rolly-poly horse who has not been ridden for some time.

Rae wants us to take Teista. So Pete and I are weighing out the pros and cons. The pros are that Pete would have a riding horse. And, Alys would have another horse to care for. The cons are that we’re not sure if she’ll get along with the other herd members. If she doesn’t, we won’t be able to send her back to Rae. Also, money is an issue, as is pen size. Having four horses in our paddock is pushing it.

This morning I said to Pete that “I never met an Icelandic horse that I didn’t like, meaning that I have never, ever met an ill-tempered one. Some, like Raudi, are disgruntled, but this is because they have an erroneous sense of entitlement. I don’t think that Teista is like this.

We’ll sit on the fence on this one. Quite obviously, fate is going to have to lay her cards on the table in this particular instance. The best we can do (and this is a good best) is to continue to live for the moment. And right now, we are really enjoying having Lifre here. We have four easy to work with Icelandic horses in our barn. Life doesn’t get any better than this.

Next: 122. 5/3/14: Horse Training: No Horse Left Behind