Tuesday, July 22, 2008

He Loves Me, He Wants My Daisies

I had a great workout with My Boy yesterday. I have come to realize that my spotted horse is smart. Not that I ever thought he wasn't smart, but I have never tried to train him to do anything myself, only implement other training that he's had. Which, despite a little help from his previous owner, is still challenging to do (she only owned him for a year.) You never really know how a 14 year old horse was originally trained and cued to do things.

Since I have never tried to teach him a new skill, I have never really had to assess his level of learning. Saddling him and going in circles in the arena at three gaits, or walking down the trail, those don't really challenge my horse's learning skills. He is 14 and pretty much has all of that down. It is really exciting to be the one to teach him new things, because I am seeing him figure out what I want. He watches me so intently. It's really cute. It has been a great bonding experience for us. I think he is really beginning to see me as a leader and partner. It has also been about a year since he's been mine (since the beginning of the care lease and subsequent purchase.) I do think it takes about a year to really bond with and get to know a horse.

To cool him out, we walked all over the property. One area has low hanging cedar boughs, and, like the great trail horse he is, he just ducked and went through without hesitation. I love that about him.

At one point we exited the driveway to the road, and this went skittering by. Know what it is?

Nope, it's not a green rain hat! It's one of those foil potted plant covers. There was a little bit of a breeze and it would pick it up and take it down the road. It was noisy and erratic. I actually jumped once when it moved after it stopped. My Boy was quite taken by it. He was both a little spooked, and a little curious.

It always amazes me that even after a horse jumps at something frightening, they turn towards it, their nose out, intrigued and sniffy. I think that once the horse figures out the scary thing isn't going to make them it's next meal, they really want to figure out what it is. We were able to follow the green thing along the road for a little while. That's always my tactic with scary things. Keep the horse facing it and walking towards it as it moves away.

After I put him away, I went and put all of my equipment back, then headed out to the meadow to get those daisies I've been obsessed about.

Guess who decided to meet me at the fence and tag along?

I often pick handfuls of grass or dandelions and throw them over the fence for My Boy, and I think he thought that is what I was going to do.

Are you gonna pick me some snacks, Pony Girl?

I was horrified (not really, but that sounds more dramatic) that there was really only this one patch of daisies left in the meadow. Either the deer, goats, or heat got to the rest of them. Goodness!

And some of them were looking pretty wilted, their leafy stalks starting to dry up. I picked them all anyway. Broke their stems right off of their roots of life.

Look at my spotted pill, pacing the fence line. Should I pick him a little treat?

Please, Pony Girl? Really, until my horse has looked you in the face, you do not know how hard it is to resist him.

Of course, I didn't give him my daisies! However, I picked him a huge handful of the abundant dandelions and grass and tossed them over the fence.

The daisies, on the other hand, ended up in my white McCoy pitcher and hopefully I'll get a day or two out of their sunny blooming faces.

And if you're wondering if he loves me, or loves me not, I think we all know the answer to that one!


  1. Of all the flowers out there, I think I like the simplicity of daisies the best. They're just so darn cheerful.

    I really like your technique of having My Boy follow something scary. He seems pretty collected in those photos.

    I wouldn't have been able to resist his sweet face either, especially after you'd had such a pleasant afternoon with him.

  2. The daisies are gorgeous! Too bad that's all that was left.

    Its been my experience (so far) that Appies seem to be more curious than flighty. When Applejack (Raincloud) spooks it is very minor and he seems more interested in checking out the "boogeyman" than running away.

  3. My daughter's Appendix gelding is VERY curious about everything. I love to look at the wonder in his eye sometimes. I think my mare is picking up on that too. She seems to be coming along nicely.

    BTW love the daisies. They are one of my favorite flowers.

  4. What a fun day you had. Silly pony. I think they are curious when they are alone but once in a herd they feed off each other and thats when they get spooky

  5. It is pretty funny how horses are so curious. And it is so rewarding to be working on something with your horse and then if finally click.
    I bought my mare when she was 10 years old and she now is 14. We had about a year or so of "new" things. You can teach an old dog new tricks!! I am glad your boy is learning so quickly!!

  6. My appy is as stead fast as they come. If the rare occasion happens when he'll spook he'll usually jump a little and then look to me for either reassurance or to get the hell outta here. I remember one time we were in the middle of the woods and I got this creepy feeling and it was getting dark. Possum was a little on edge and nervous. We both took one look around and booked it at a gallop to get away and get home. Glad that you love your horse so much. I've had Possum almost 5 years now and we are just starting to be reall comfortable with one another and like each others presence. Building a partnership is an amazing thing but also the best feeling ever.

  7. I like dasies as well, so natural, sweet and simple! I'm like that!

    You have the right idea~always face them to whatever it is! He didn't look to worried in the picture though!

    My mare is pretty much used to everything~very rarely spooks! If she does she looks at me and she is okay that is it! Keep working with him~exposure to many different things is great!

    Love the pitcher and flowers! Very summer ie!

  8. Oh no. I'd never be able to resist that adorable face of My Boy. He is quite skilled at creating the perfect sad puppy face. hehe

    Those Daisies are lovely in that white milk pitcher. And I think you're right about it taking a year for that horse/human bond to take place.
    Baby Doll and I have already come quite a way after 5 months, but I know that with even more time we'll build our relationship even closer. I can't wait!

    Of course, as with you and My Boy, the only way to do that is by spending as much time as possible together. You two are like a married couple. I hope your future cowboy doesn't mind sharing you with My Boy.

  9. I definitely agree! This week marks the one year anniversary for me and Jack. I'm still learning a lot about him. He's been learning so much, too, about moving correctly and being in better shape than the chubby boy he was when I bought him!

    Okay, this is a question I've had since I started reading your blog... Is My Boy his real name or his blog name? :-)

  10. PG- that great big spotted pill of yours is quite the man. You two, I bet, are going to have a long wonderful fantastic life together.

    Which might make finding your cowboy tough! LOL.... He will have a lot to live up to! ;)

  11. Awwwww....he loves you!!! You are going to make a pocket horse out of him yet...or should I say pocket pony!!!

    Isn't it neat that you may be the first person in his life that has taken the time to really get to know him? You don't just assume that he likes or knows what he is learning, and you listen to HIM, and to what he has to say.

    I though that you might recognize Martha and Curly from the pic! I just wish they weren't so small (the pisctures). At least you can click on them and enlarge them :)

  12. Hey there pg,

    I think it is great that your boy looks at the things that scare him. I have known a few horses that wouldn't and those are the ones tough to get through to.

    I totally agree that it takes a year to really build a relationship. At one year I really felt as though my boy liked me and after two I knew we were meant for each other. It will be interesting to see if my husband and his boy bond sooner since AJ is only 2 years old.

    Lastly I LOVE daisies. We had gerber daisies at our wedding and other spring flowers. I was a country girl even then although I didn't realize it. Ha Ha.

  13. I think somebody thinks he can turn on a cute face and get whatever he wants?

  14. Great pitures! I am with the majority of your commentators I LOVE Daisies! My Rumor would've thought that was a mountain lion! She is spooky! Train would've went over to make friends! He is so curious with out the apprehension!

  15. more gorgeous, gorgeous photos! love them. i am just amazed how beautiful it is where you live!


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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