Today Pete and I took Hrimmi and Tyra down to the Murphy Road creek turnaround. Pete rode Hrimmi and I walked Tyra. We had a wonderful time. For the first time ever, Pete and Hrimmi trotted, tolted, and cantered. I alternated walking and doing liberty work with Tyra who didn’t know what to do with her pent up energy. In particular, Tyra and I had a wonderful time, trotting alongside one another and walking in unison. I thought, what a joy, to have two young ponies at differing stages of their riding careers to interact with. The following conversation took place shortly after we returned from our outing.
Tyra running through the snow
Hrimmi: That was a really good ride today.
Alys: You and Pete did really well together. You seemed mature beyond your age.
H: Yes, Pete and I are well suited to one another.
A: It helps that Pete has a really good seat.
H: It’s taken me a while to get my balance. Having a rider on my back feels way different than I expected. I am really glad that both of you have been so patient with me and not made me do anything I could not do.
A: What do you think of your new saddle?
H: I like it. The other saddle pinched my back.
A: Sorry about that. It took us a few outings before we figured this out.
H: I’m glad that you took care of the problem. You two are pretty good at that.
A: And we never asked you to go faster than a walk. We waited until you were ready.
H: And I felt ready today.
A: You and Tinni are now Pete’s riding horses.
H: Tinni told me that he’s glad that I’m sharing the work load. He likes getting out. But he also enjoys hanging out.
A: Siggi and Signy, your dam, were both previously Pete’s riding horses.
H: They both loved Pete dearly. They both repeatedly told me how kind, gentle, and calm he was. And they themselves were kind, gentle, and calm. Not like you Alys – you have a temper. Pete does not have a temper.
A: Yes. But notice lately how patient I’ve been.
H: Tyra, now, she sometimes tries your patience.
Tyra: So Hrimmi here is Pete’s riding horse. What about me? Am I also going to be Pete’s riding horse?
A: No Tyra, you are going to be my riding horse.
T: But Raudi is your riding horse. She tells me so every single day.
A: I’m a lucky woman – I’m going to have two riding horses.
T: When are you going to ride me? I’m ready to go.
A: The plan is for me to keep doing groundwork with you. And when you seem to me that you’re able to focus on the job at hand, I will begin taking you out with the others.
T: I’m ready to go now. N. O. W. See, I can spell.
A: You are a smart horse with a lot of potential.
T: Yes, today when we were out on the road, like today, you called me and I ran right to you.
H: But your mind wandered when Alys walked you. And Pete could not pony you. You were all over the place in your head.
T: I wasn’t like I used to be. By the way Alys, do you have a treat for me?
H: Treats, treats, treats, all you ever think about is getting treats.
T: See? I am focused.
A: Hrimmi, do you remember when you were like Tyra?
H: No. I was born a mature riding horse. I am and always have been Pete’s hoochie coochie girl.
T: Oh brother.
A: I beg to differ.
T: I just beg. I really would like a treat. If I put my head down will you give me a treat?
H: Tyra, betcha you can’t do this trick. (Puts head down on ground, picks up Alys’s glove and hands it to her.)
A: Thank you Hrimmi.
T: No, I don’t pick up gloves. But I can do this. Stomps hoof, repeatedly. I . . want . . . a . . . treat.
H: Alys didn’t ask you do that. You only get reinforces when she does what you ask.
A: Back to the matter at hand. Hrimmi, you remember what we always used to say?
H: Little horses do what big horses do.
A: That’s right. And you are now finally a big horse.
T: A very big horse.
H: And I am planning to do well by Pete.
T: I so badly want to do what big horses do.
A: Give yourself time. And for now, enjoy being a little horse. You aren’t always going to be allowed to run free on walks.
T: Little horses get more treats, right?
A: (Sighs) yes Tyra.
Next: 42. February 11, 2017: The Writing Life: Me and My Shadow