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May 24, 2012: Little Horse, Big Plans, Part II

After writing the previous dispatch, I realized that it sounded like I know what I’m doing horse-wise, and specifically with Hrimfara’s upbringing. This morning, I got down off that well-worn soap box, and took a seat next to it. As I sat in the easy chair, I concluded that while I have some specific long-term goals, that I don’t yet fully know how I’m going to achieve them. I now freely admit that at times, I’m going to be thinking on my feet. In other words, I’m a bit of a bullshit artist.

This morning was, with its attendant ups and downs, a very good example of my now new and improved change in attitude. Okay. So the day began with what has become routine. I let Signy and Hrimmi out of the pen, putting a bucket of hay in front of the former. Then I did the morning chores, watering, feeding, poop scooping. A half-hour later, I went to put mare and foal back in the pen.

As of late, Hrimmi has taken to running off at this very moment. This morning, I decided to act upon a new plan, which was to keep Signy in hand. This way, she wouldn’t follow Hrimmi up hill. Hrimmi did, of course, take off and ran bucking and kicking around the yard. I finally walked Signy down the driveway, and Hrimmi followed. My respect for astronauts grew exponentially during this time, for all total, it took me five minutes to line the space module up with the rocket booster. In went Hrimmi. Mission accomplished.

I felt smug afterwards, and over breakfast I told Pete that the reason why Hrimmi finally followed Signy into the pen was because she’s her food source. Emboldened by what on my part was a significant animal behavior accomplishment, I next suggested to

Pete that we do our usual trail walk, and in a rush of words further suggested that I ride Tinni and pony Signy, and that he walk Rainbow. Pete agreed. This went quite well. Signy and Tinni stood quietly when I mounted and moved up the road in unison. All three equines got excited when I stepped onto the trail proper, and so I handed the lead to Pete, who’d already released Rainbow. Once up trail, I resumed ponying Signy. Ten minutes later, we stepped back onto the road leading back to our driveway.

I later remarked to Pete that I was most proud of Tinni, my right hand man, err, horse. This horse continues to do right by me – and for this reason, I consider him to be indispensable. Who woulda thunk it, that six years back, when I first started riding him, that I’d be using him as a pony horse for a mare and foal? Kudos too, to Signy, who handled everything well. I ought not be surprised. Between the Icelandic and Irish import there are, combined, close to 40 years of experience. Wowsa.

My smug attitude disappeared a few minutes later. Long story short: we went to put Signy and Hrimmi back in the pen, and Hrimmi again scampered off. Pete hung on to Signy, who was not in the least concerned that Hrimmi wasn’t at her side. Instead, she too did as I did, and watched the little imp race around like one of those dud firecrackers that goes every which way. I then began shifting about because Pete and I had things to do. Perhaps, I thought, we ought to have instead named Frosty Traveler Weary Traveler.

Signy eventually gave a gentle nicker. And Hrimmi finally acquiesced (this is the right word to describe her behavior) by prancing like the princess she is, back into the pen. All total, this incident took 15 minutes of our very busy day.

I’m not sure how I’m going to deal, when in a few days, Pete goes to Fairbanks. Maybe I’ll have our friend Bill Schmidtkunz light a few candles for us at his church. Or, I will take matters into my own hands and pray to the foal god, which is the one that bestows obedience upon willful little Icelandic fillies. Or maybe I’ll throw my hands up in the air, and leave town. Dunno. I’ll figure out something.

What I learned this morning is that humility is a very good attribute to have. It keeps one grounded and empathetic to the concerns of others. And so, if say, someone came up to me and said “I’ve been having a really hard time getting my foal back in its pen,” I would not say “well, ya do it like this,” but rather “owwwwwwwwwwwwww. I feel your pain!”

Huh. I never before thought that a two week-old foal could teach me major life lessons, but this is now what’s happening. I just hope that I remain Hrimmi’s good student.

Next: 167. 05/24/12: Rainy Day