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!