Thursday, March 31, 2011

So you ride yourselves over the fields

Here is the cutest Sovey boy after our bareback ride yesterday afternoon.  Yes, he is back in his bitless bridle in this photo.  He is doing fine again.

Pie and I had a fabulous ride on Tuesday evening. This was my first evening ride since last year so he was nervous in the cross-ties trying to convey to me that I had mixed up the routine.  With Pie, I just have to proceed calmly and tell him that I know what I am doing. With his first balk and worry as we headed out, I pushed him forward with no ambivalence in my mind and that was all it took.  He trusted me the entire ride.  I need to trust myself and push him forward more when he thinks the only way out is up. And, as many of you kindly suggested, also circling him if he is doing the half-rear and absolutely won't go forward.  I think he will go forward if I mean it. He just senses my hesitation to push him forward. 

Kate, over at A Year With Horses, had a great post about her new Drifter boy and his baby habits called Drifter Acts Like a Baby.  This post really hit home with me because it described my Pie to a T.  Pie is willing until he is done or bored or onto the next thing and then he wants to be the boss like a spoiled child.  It was easy in the beginning because everything at our farm was new to him, but now he knows the routine and the farm and he wants to cooperate only so long.  My daily work involves trying to get him to give even when he is done.

Pie is the youngest of our three horses in actual age.  He is still five and will turn six on May 7th of this year.  Foggy turned six on January 22nd, but Foggy is the real baby.  This is a different kind of "baby" than the one I was just describing above or Kate is describing in her post.  Foggy's actions and view of everything reminds me of what it would be like to have a foal on the farm.  I know he raced and has seen way more of the "world" than Pie, who never raced, but Foggy is "coltish" in his daily play.  I really like that about him, but it might be a crazy ride when I finally climb on!  

The cutest thing about Foggy is the hair that flows out of the inside of his ears.  He looks like a long-haired bunny rabbit.  Because of his constant movement, I had a difficult time trying to photograph his cute ears.

These shots are from Tuesday evening.

He just won't stand still long enough for me to show both ears at the same time.  The tufts are adorable!  Here is a photo from last November when Brian and I went to see him at the track.  

He was calmer that day than he is with us.  He is not hyper here; the only way I can describe it is - exuberant!  He used to come out of his stall very slowly and walk calmly.  Now, he comes out excited to see the day and the other horses.  I know that I am partly to blame.  I am always so excited to see him in the morning and I can't contain my enthusiasm.  That is the worst thing about being around horses for me.  I get the best results when I act "bored" - like a mutt, as I say.  I am SO NOT bored when I am with horses!  Today, I acted bored and depressed when I brought Foggy out and he walked out quietly.  Oh, it is so difficult to be calm when you have such adorable cutie pies around you at every turn!!!  


  1. Nice pictures. Our horses are out 24/7 even though they have stalls. So, their excitement in the morning is not that great. My routine is to sing when I go out - "Good morning, good morning, the best to you each morning, K-E-LL-O-Double Good, Kellogg's best to you." Stupid, I know and I'm not that great a singer, but that's the routine and it seems our horses do better with a routine.


  2. "With his first balk and worry as we headed out, I pushed him forward with no ambivalence in my mind and that was all it took."

    No ambivalence! I will carry this thought with me on our next ride off the property... no rearing to deal with but we have had steering issues.

    I struggle with containing my moods around my horse too... I can do it well in an emergency - thank goodness - but sometimes high spirits get the best of me! ;)

    Foggy's ears are too cute!

  3. Cute Foggy ears! The trick with the baby behaviors, I think, is to expect the horse to be able to act like an adult - for a little while - and maybe just a little bit longer than they think they can. When I sense the frustration/concentration-leaving point, I try to ask for just one more thing so they learn they can work even when they want to stop - but I also try not to push things so far that the horse has a meltdown. It's a fine line and sometimes I end up too far on one side or the other, but that's working with horses for you!

  4. OMGosh- He does have adorable bunny rabbit ears!

  5. Thanks Dan for sharing your morning song! I used to have a mare named Penny Lane. Her barn name was "Star" so I would sing "Good Morning Starshine" (from Hair) to her every single day when I took her out.

  6. Those ears are adorable. I know what you mean about being exuberant around the horses. Sometimes as I'm drifting off to sleep I can't wait for the next day to be there so I can start playing with the horses again!

  7. Building trust is so important, and maintaining calm, especially if I anticipate Harley's next move. He is doing so much better since last year; I have to remember how far he's come and just take it slowly, bit by bit. Each ride is another step forward.

  8. Good for you with Pie! :) He is obviously VERY good at reading the slightest body language so he's a challenge and probably enjoys to test you out from time to time. Those little Tricksters!
    Foggy's ears are TOO cute! Total bunny ears! He's a long furried earred TB..very rare breed! ;)

  9. What a comfort it is that Fog fits in do dearly with you, your land and the other horses! What a fretful state you would be in if it were different! That Pie. He is so funny from afar. Spoiled baby! Lilly sometimes can get that way in the ring. I think she sees it this way: "I am going to be asked to trot/walk/canter around this ring a total of 40 times before I go back to eating my hay. Therefore, the faster I can get those 40 laps in, the faster I will be back at my hay."
    What does this mean for me? That I am zooming all over the ring! In this way I think my brumby too is like a little baby, trying to get what she wants all the time and ignoring the rules!!
    They are all so smart and cute. I adore them all!

  10. Juliette, What adorable fuzzy ears Foggy has! How cute! I know what you mean about being excited around your horses, but sometimes being quieter helps them behave. I think sometimes that Buckshot can hear/sense my excited/loving thoughts even if I don't show my exuberance. But sometimes I just have to stop and give him a big hug on his fuzzy neck cause he is so wonderful! The love and exuberance is probably a precious thing to our horses. You have three terrific ones!

  11. Foggy's cute ears, and his youthful curiosities ~ adorable!

  12. When I read Kate's post I immediately thought of my little Rosie... such a baby! And her play is "fillyish" (I don't know about that word but I'm sure you get me anyway,) too. And yes, the rides are often wild with her but sometimes, strangely, mild and drab. Anyway, your Foggy and my Rosie would probably be best buddies if they were in the same herd. I'm sure of it.


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