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September 24, 2012: Update

Owning five horses, all of whom are sequestered in a small area, has innumerable challenges, one of which is making sure that all get regular exercise. Ideally, I’d like to get each and every one out every day, but this isn’t possible. Bad weather and other pressing things don’t allow for this. But there are days, like today, when I forgo important tasks (like harvesting garden produce) in order to work with them. Dogs, too.

This morning, after chores, I got Tinni out, and ponied Rainbow to and from Jim’s Road, letting her run on the road itself. (Jenna also came along.) Then I returned home and got Siggi out, ponying him off Tinni. Siggi is rather new at this,

Siggi and Hrimmi are becoming buddies
Siggi and Hrimmi are becoming buddies

and sometimes he has an uncooperative attitude. But we are learning together. Pressure/release on the rope seems to be working well. And Tinni is adept at putting himself in the right place when Siggi rushes forward. Twice we had to cut him off.

I next went around the loop with Signy and Hrimmi, riding Signy. I discovered that I was wrong in thinking that Signy is no longer concerned about the well-being of her little darling. Hrimmi (intentionally) stopped to graze, and when her dam was (in her own estimation) too far ahead, she stopped and nickered for her. Hrimmi then came running. Hrimmi made no attempt to nurse.

I have this new theory about weaning, and this is that the one or two foal owner has the luxury of intuitively determining when it’s time separate the mare and foal. Some would say we waited too long – Hrimmi was four months old when we began the weaning process. This then seemed like the right time. I now think that because we waited, that it was less stressful for all involved.

I next ponied Signy off Raudi. This was the best ride of the day. Raudi was agreeable, and walked, trotted, and cantered on command. We first rode the trail adjacent to Pat and Ray’s – Raudi balked when asked to cross some seriously wet ground. But I made her go through it, knowing that it was fine.

We next went up loop, to Jim’s Road, and up and down it. After, I took both horses down Murphy Road. Signy was resistant, and made it clear to me that she did not want to do this. So I got off Raudi and walked both horses a half-mile or so. I think that she was reluctant to continue because she could hear Hrimmi whinnying.

Fortunately, Siggi is now watching out for Hrimmi. Later, I noticed that they were eating together in the large pen.

It took me approximately four hours to get all the horses out – this also included grooming them and cleaning their hooves. That’s twenty hooves. I so much enjoyed being in their company that it seemed like hardly any time at all.

Next: 289. 09/25/12: Fall Colors