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March 12, 2019: The Horse Life: Tinni Front and Center

I have been writing a lot about Team Tyra, the three mares who are going on our upcoming trip. I have not been writing about Tinni, but even though he isn’t coming along, he’s a member of the team.

Yes, always a tough call, leaving him behind because he is a team member. However, I feel good about the fact that I’m doing what’s best for him. He’s going to vacation over at my friend Terri Mielke’s place this summer. She’s taken him on before.

Terri and her granddaughters will dote on Tinni, which is something he really enjoys. They’ll groom him for hours and most likely braid his mane and tail. They’ll ride him some and he will take very good care of his young riders. Of this I am sure.

Tinni has always been my go-to horse. If I’m lacking in confidence or need to determine something, such as whether or not I am up for riding bareback, Tinni’s my man. This past winter, I ponied him off Raudi, on the trails, and got that much more proficient at this, as did Raudi. The few times I dropped the lead rope, he stood still and waited for me to retrieve it. Raudi would back when asked, enabling me to grab the line.

Tinni with some visitors
Tinni with some visitors

Lately, I’ve been taking Tinni for daily walks around our neighborhood loop. I unclip his lead once we get going and we match pace with one another. Today I ran and he paced alongside me. This may not seem like any big deal, but it is in that being out and about does us both a world of good, mentally and physically, as does our daily grooming sessions. He’s now shedding out nicely.

I’m also learning a great deal from Tinni about the ins and outs of older horse care. Movement is essential, as is his getting supplements in a timely fashion. He’s getting a daily slurpy that consists of three cups of beet pulp, three ounces of California Trace, a dash of salt, a quarter of a cup of ground flax, and 1/8 of a teaspoon of copper.

I suspect that the addition of copper and zinc, found in the California Trace, was what ultimately resolved his eye issue. He is now bright eyed on both sides, and no longer (as he was before) in pain. He does startle when horses or dogs come up behind him unexpectedly – I think that this is loss of vision related.

I put a blanket on him when the temperature drops. This way, he remains dry and warm.

For some odd reason, Tyra seems to badger him, so I separate the two by having one in the small pen and the other in the paddock. I sense that Tinni, who in a month will be thirty, appreciates my being aware of and doing something about this problem.

So yes, Tinni is one of the team. And, additionally, he remains my favorite horse.

Next: 71.3/13/19: The Writing Life: Breakthroughs

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