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April 12, 2019: Apologizing to a Horse

It is an embarrassment of riches, having four horses. There was a time when I imagined having just one. Someone once said that horse people will acquire as many horses as will fit on their property. We have four horses because four is our limit. It’s also (really) my limit because I get stretched pretty thin, caring for this many.

Our four live in a small paddock, so the level of interaction is higher than it would be, say, if they lived in a large pasture. Then they could go for days on end, exercising and keeping themselves amused. As it is, I go for days on end, exercising them and keeping them amused. I am the home entertainment center, the maître de, the chambermaid, the personal trainer, and the head educator.

Alys on Raudi Ponying Tinni
Alys on Raudi Ponying Tinni

So yesterday, in my dispatch, I had a conversation with Raudi who was put off by the fact that even though she got out, she was the last one to get out. She explained to me that by taking the other mares out first, that I was violating herd order, her being the “dominant” mare.

You can’t apologize to a horse. However, you can right what they see as a wrong situation. Today I got Raudi out first, and with considerable ceremony. You would have thought she was the queen of England the way I led her out of that pen.

I think that, deep down, she would have preferred that I leave her at the hitching post with a bale of fresh hay. But no, I instead took her for a longer than usual ride, which I think surprised her. We headed on over to Dorothy Adler’s place (she is my wilderness first responder teacher) and I dropped off some thank you cards for the students in the WEMT class to sign. The cards were for class guests including the paramedics at Life Med.

The three mile ride (each way) went very well. Raudi did her centrifugal force spin when we were passed (in near succession) by a car coming one way and the UPS truck going the other way. I managed to stay in the saddle – this made me think that I am a better rider than I used to be. Either that or Raudi isn’t putting as much energy into her spins as she used to do.

The terrain was varied, gravel road, muddy trail, and backyard trail to residential snow patches included. And Raudi did real well. The high point of the ride was on the way home, when I had her do trot-walk-trot transitions. The difference from the recent past was that this time, I was the one who indicated when we should slow down and speed up.

Once at home, we put boots on Mr. T and I ponied him off Raudi on Siggi’s Trail. Then after, it was blustery and I considered forgoing getting out on the mares. Pete, as it turned out, was the motivator. We went for a ride, me riding Hrimmi with just the bareback pad and Pete riding Tyra. We went at a good clip to the Murphy Road turnoff and back.

I finished the horse day by doing agility with all the mares. The April course is very easy, and not a challenge, so I have to limit the mare’s practice time. Otherwise, they get bored.

I noticed that Hrimmi and Tyra weren’t pleased about my first taking Raudi out. As I have told them all, there are all total (including Tinni) four of them and one of me. “You horses are very lucky to have me,” I said. To which Tyra replied, “no, it’s the other way around.” “No, we’re all lucky,” I said, and left it at that.

Next: 101.4/13/19: A Tough Day

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