Home > Trip > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches > Daily Dispatch #160

May 18, 2012: Hoss Manners

I was inspired by Vickie. I concluded yesterday’s ride thinking that if Hunar can go downhill in such an adept and controlled fashion, than Raudi can do the same. But it’s more than this. Vickie and Hunar were working together, with Vickie clearly being the one in charge. This is the way it should be. As impressive as all this was, she had elected to go from using a Kimberwick, which is more severe bit, to a simple snaffle, which is a less severe bit.

It wasn’t always this way. I remember going with friends Ruth and Brandi to a clinic in Fairbanks. The three of us took Raudi and Hunar. (Brandi then owned him). Both Raudi and Hunar were idiots – on the first morning of the clinic, Hunar got away from Brandi and Raudi, following suit, got away from me. Then a very well behaved Dutch Warmblood pulled free of her surprised owner. For a few brief moments the three horses raced, bucking and kicking, around the arena. They were all having a wonderful time, and who could begrudge them that?

The two were eventually caught, and finally settled down – somewhat. The young clinician – Many Pretty – was really diplomatic. For example, at one point, Raudi, when asked to walk on, began pawing the ground angrily. Mandy’s response was “this is a difficult horse to work with.”

Alys and Raudi at Dottie's
Alys and Raudi at Dottie's

Raudi crossing tarp - Fall 2007
Raudi crossing tarp - Fall 2007

In spite of all this, I had a wonderful time at this clinic – at the end, my sides hurt from laughing so hard. And Raudi and I learned a few things. This was back when she would routinely get away from me and run all over hell and creation.

Brandi eventually sold Hunar to Vicki, who since has been working with him consistently, both in the arena and on the trail. The fruits of her efforts are now sitting in a basket on the table. Hunar is now a very tractable fellow. As for Raudi, well, we have a ways to go. She’s a fairly dependable trail horse, but does not yet fully see me as being the one in charge.

Rather than say to myself that Raudi is willful and will never be as well trained as Hunar, I’m saying the opposite. And I have some very definite ideas as to how to go about this. I feel (oddly enough) as though I’ve entered a new phase cognitively. I am consciously competent. I know exactly what needs to be done, and how to do this. It begins by keeping Raudi out of my space when I go in to dispense hay.

Time is of the essence. I also need to continue to work with Hrimmi by taking her for walks, and with Siggi, by doing ground training. I’m also going to help Mariann with Jokla, a three-year old Icelandic filly. So, Tinni is going to spend his summer at Vickie’s place. And I might be helping Marge with Delilah, her seven year old Icelandic quarter horse cross.

This morning I fed Signy on the lawn, and let Hrimmi race around while she ate. Signy is now allowing her to go a bit further afield. She is an amazing mother – I have absolutely no regrets about our taking her on. Later this morning, Pete will ride Siggi and pony Signy – with me walking alongside.

Next: 161. 05/18/12: Brave New World