Saturday, December 26, 2009

First ride at home

Okay, I'm behind on my posts again. It's the holidays. Everything's chaotic. As you can see in the title, I was finally able to ride my new horse at home. But first I want to give a brief summary of the past few days. Basically, because of Ziggy's animosity towards Shadowfax, the only way that I've been able to spend any time with my horse was to go out into the field wait until the donkeys came over and Ziggy chased Shadowfax away, then walk into the goat pen with the donkeys following me, then walk out of the goat pen locking the donkeys in. Ziggy would stay by the goat pen and I could go halter my horse and lead him into the backyard area and groom him and love on him. Even in the backyard, which is fenced off from the rest of the pasture, Shadowfax still kept a watchful eye on Ziggy. Because of this I wasn't willing to risk trying to ride Shadowfax alone.

On either Monday or Tuesday, Foxfire came home from work for a couple of hours around 2pm.(They let him out for a few hours because they were going to keep him till midnight that day.) And with Foxfire haltering and leading Ziggy, we managed to take Ziggy and Shadowfax for a walk in-hand around the neighborhood. Outside of the pasture, Ziggy was more tolerant of Shadowfax, but he still wasn't ready to accept him as a herd mate. However, when we would pause and let them sniff noses, all Ziggy did was pin his ears, no snapping and no dramatics. That was hopeful. Of course, once we turned them loose back in the pasture, Ziggy went all herd-protector again. Not nearly as dramatic as the first time, but he still wouldn't let Shadowfax anywhere near the donkeys.

And then of course, the past couple of days have been Christmas eve and Christmas day and with all the family obligations and stuff, there just wasn't much time to spend with the horses.

But finally, today, Foxfire is off work, Ziggy has continued to mellow towards Shadowfax to the point that they can now eat off of the same round bale -- as long as they are on opposite sides -- and Foxfire and I decided to try and take both horses on a trail ride around the neighborhood.

It went great! Outside of the pasture, without the donkeys around, Ziggy was actually quite tolerant of Shadowfax. He didn't even pin his ears that I noticed. And although Shadowfax was quite looky. He paid attention to me and didn't spook at anything. Cars went by and he barely looked at them. Screaming kids playing ball in their yard, he just flicked an ear at. Even a bunch of teenagers riding around on ATV's didn't bother him. He looked, but that was it. The only time he had a noticeable reaction to anything was when a big dog ran barking along the fence at him. His gait became a bit uneven as he tried to keep an eye and/or an ear toward the dog. He didn't try to stop or bolt or even go in another direction. His gaits just became a little uneven while we were passing the dog. Considering that Shadowfax has had little, if any, trail riding experience outside of a pasture, he did extremely well.

It's finally beginning to sink in that I actually have my own horse. Grooming him, picking out his feet (Did I mention how GOOD he is about having his feet worked with!!!), saddling him and bridling him all on my own, then riding him around the neighborhood has started making it real to me. It's still not completely real. That may take a while. I never, NEVER, believed that I might actually end up with a dapple gray Andalusian, which has been my dream horse since I first saw one of those Spanish Riding School shows in junior high. (And yes, it was the Andalusians that I was drawn to, NOT the Lipizzaners.)

Unfortunately, I still don't have any pictures, because Foxfire was busy riding Ziggy. But sooner or later, I WILL get a picture of me riding my new horse.

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