Horsie, Horsie!

The last few days of nice weather for the year are passing awfully fast—actually looking forward to a cooler, cloudy day so I can rest up a bit. Notice I said “a” day; not weeks or months. I know, vain hope . . . besides working on the cabin, which mostly has been my husband recently because I’m both height- and paint-challenged, I’ve been working a fair amount with the mustangs.

Charm, of course, greatly prefers no touching, but has no problem whatsoever coming up to me—particularly when I have food. Most of my work with her is simply talking while standing next to her. Or just hanging out.

Trinket, who will be four weeks old tomorrow, has been having a blast chasing Aunt Nickel around the nursery and teasing her, and running on the edge of the big kids’ pseudo-stampedes while pretending to be a big horse. She has a larger bucket now, a red one, and is learning how to wear her first halter. She’s still a fan of butt scratches, but has tried to butt-bump me a couple times; she’s also learning the difference between horse and human.

Nickel has been working on more halter training and leading. She does fairly well at liberty leading and has been learning to stop and respect my space—she has a problem with that, she thinks she should be right on top of me, always has since day one.

Valentine, the MOST NEEDY HORSE IN THE WORLD, still falls asleep when I’m brushing her and shoves past everyone else to be FIRST. She will carry a saddle or a pad and walks around proudly when doing so. She lets me lean on her, and the other day she stood by the fence while I was climbing through—a feat more difficult than you can imagine since we added conduit pipe for baby-proofing—so I could use her for balance. She’s very sweet and smart, backs on command, and three times now has stuck her foot in a tight spot but waited calmly for me to help her get out. She also leads at liberty with a snap of my fingers. Darn good for a horse I couldn’t touch for almost two months after she arrived.

Oh, Cavalry . . . little stinker. He’s such a comedian too. Goofy expressions and all. Much calmer and more mature since he was gelded two months ago. We’ve been working on the halter and lead—he’s not particularly one for liberty training. We also did some flag work, with Val, as you can see below. And today he decided that maybe grooming IS for boys . . . he kept coming back for more and didn’t want to leave the barn area after his lesson. Hmm. Maybe that’s too mild—he REFUSED to leave and planted all four feet. A bit stubborn, that Catnip herd.

Speaking of Catnip, Cody is still holding out. Come December 13, she’ll have been here for an entire year. When I groom the others, she’ll come so close her nose is practically touching them, but if I take one step towards her, she backs off. Sometimes I can walk past her bucket while she’s eating and she won’t move—I could that as a victory, but it doesn’t usually happen. I’ve touched her nose, very briefly, a handful of times; she does like cookies, but seldom actually takes it from me—and then does so without touching!

She hurt her leg a few days ago. Scared me, because, well, I can’t examine her and neither can anyone else without sedation. She hobbled down to the cross-gate, then stopped on the other side and looked at me . . . I crouched down behind the gate and was able to get a good look at the leg. She didn’t move a bit, just kept turning her head to check on me. After a bit, I stood up and she walked on over to the hay. Smart, but stubborn; or shy. Or both. I sure didn’t think it would take this long with her, but I’m certainly not giving up!




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