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June 04, 2012: Icelandic Horses Up and Down

This morning I prepared Tinni for his temporary move to Vickie, Mike, and Emily’s place by first writing up and printing a Care and Feeding chart and then grooming him. After, we loaded him up in the trailer, and off we all went. His summer home is less than five miles away. I’ll be able to ride over to where he’s staying when the trails in the Moose Meadow dry up. This won’t be long.

Pete and I went to the Talbot’s place in separate vehicles. This provided me time to reflect upon an important question, which is, why am I feeling so amiss about parting company with Tinni for the summer? As I drove along, I came up with a partial answer. This horse and I now have a past history that spans five glorious years. During this time, he’s boosted my riding-related confidence to the point where I now feel good about riding Raudi 99% of the time. It was a tall order because I tend to have major confidence-related lapses. However, Tinni rose to the occasion.

Sometimes people outgrow horses and move on to horses that are more challenging for them. This is not so of me and Tinni aka Scout. I keep looking for, and finding new things for us to do. We are actually at the point where when I’m riding him that one of us knows what the other is thinking.

Emily with Tinni

Alys with Tinni

As Emily and Vickie introduced Tinni to Hunar, it occurred to me that I only want the best for my buddy. And my biggest fear is that Tinni might think that he’s being discarded. It’s a given that a horses’ life is fraught with uncertainty – we take them places, sell them, and even slaughter them. It’s impossible to know what they think about this. If God is a horse, many people are in trouble. I’m sure that even I will to account for a few equine-related black marks on my soul.

I quickly figured out that all was quite good where Tinni was going. Vickie is an excellent horse person and will make sure he gets top notch care. And Emily, 13, has the makings of a good horse person. She’s confident without being overbearing. As she saddled him up, he rested his head in her arms. So it seemed to me that Tinni was okay with what he saw as a favorable transition. I am absolutely certain that Tinni will get ridden and fed his three squares a day. And Vickie will keep her pen clean.

There will also be benefits at this end. Now I’ll be able to put more time into the fab four. I’ll have more riding time, which will be good for Raudi. Plus I’m planning on resuming riding Signy in the next few days. And Siggi needs ground work. And Hrimmi needs to be introduced to the halter and body rope. (This is in addition to the already pre-established walkabouts.

In addition, Siggi and Raudi will now have access to the shelter overhang when it rains. (I’d had to keep Siggi and Tinni apart because the two spar, so one was always left out in the rain.) Bottom line: I can tend to five horses, and I very much enjoy doing it. But it doesn’t leave time for anything else. So this temporary exchange is a win-win deal for us all.

Deja Vu all over again -- Last year Tinni went to Soldotna for the summer. Now, like then, I again feel a sense of loss. And I know that no matter how well I rationalize Tinni’s departure, this feeling will be there until he comes home. I don’t need to fully understand this, nor do I need to obsess about not being able to fully understand this. It just is.

This afternoon I went over the Stoffel’s and worked with Jokla. This made me (at least momentarily) feel better. Jokla is, at 3, a very congenial and very easy going horse, just so long as she’s not asked to do too much. Amazingly, she saw me coming, and came right over to the gate. Today I first did obstacle work with her, and after I dropped treats on a tarp. (She had to walk across the canvas to get them.) Jokla liked this, and by the session’s end, she was walking confidently, back and forth, across the canvas. I next did a few belly lifts, and after, put a saddle on her back. She had no problem with the weight, so I tightened the girth. Jokla had a few moments of uncertainty, but after thinking about things for a bit, gladly did what was asked.

As I worked with her, I realized that there are horses out there that are easy to train. Raudi was not at all this way. Raudi wasn’t difficult, just willful.

So how’s it going to be training Hrimmi? I suspect that she will have a personality like Raudi’s – she’ll want to do what she wants to do, but give in after she’s convinced that she’s fully made her feelings about the matter at hand known to her trainers.

So this was my day. All around me, people are putting in and maintaining gardens. I am rather in awe of what I see these individuals doing. Honestly, this all makes what I’m doing with the horses seem to me be quite trifling.

Next: 179. 06/5/12: Postscript and a Poem