|Cheerio, looking towards the house. |
(When I expect to get myself really dirty I don't bring my real camera.
All the pictures in todays post are taken with my iPhone.)
Like some of you already know we decided to spend the winter in Napa. It's a couple of hours from the ranch. I miss seeing the horses every day. Our thought was to bring them with us but instead we're going back and forth.
After Christmas a horse that I've seen on my walks with the dogs, here in Napa, starts to come over to our house. I let her eat some grass and walked her over to her place several times. I recently met the owner and now she has a pasture in "our back yard" (the backyard is 10acres). I've started to ride her a little every day. She needs to gain some weight before I can start any real riding. She's a sweet heart. A very smart, intelligent and fun horse. I mentioned her briefly yesterday. She's a 13 year old Arab/Paso Fino Cross. I spend time with her every day. I usually groom her, ride her a few minutes and take her for a walk or just hang out with her on the pasture. When she gained weight I'm going to start condition her for Endurance, she have been started in Endurance Rides before.
This morning I was out playing with the dogs, next to her pasture. Stella, the German Shepard chase horses and I didn't go in to the pasture because of that. However I told Cheerio, the horse, that I was going to come back later for her. I go into the house with the dogs. I open my computer and start working. My thought of later was later like in a few hours. I sit in my bedroom and I can feel that someone is watching me. Cheerio is standing on the exact same spot I left her looking towards the house. I change my plans and decide to go out to her first.
|Cheerios mane before I started to detangled it|
|One of the dreads that I had to cut.|
It's been raining for a couple of days. The ground is very slippery, both the grass and the dirt that quickly turned into mud. It doesn't rain today but because of the slipperiness I wasn't planning on riding today. I walked her over to a round pen, did some "getting to know each other" exercises and groomed her. She had some terrible dread locks in her mane that I've been working on for a couple of days now. Today I actually used a knife and cut the worst parts. She have a beautiful, thick, long mane and I tried to not take any more than a bare minimum. She was very patient. It took me almost an hour to get all the dreads out.
|Cheerios mane after one hour++ work.|
After that I gave her some massage and took her for a walk. I want to really get to know her. And you can only get to know a horse by spending time with the horse. The best thing, in my experience is to do a lot of different thing to build a mutual trust and bond with each other. I choose to walk on a heavy trafficked road to see how she would do. She did great. That's good to know, means that I most likely can ride her on the side of the road to some nicer riding trails.
|Walking on a road with heavy traffic; fast cars, trucks, |
bicycles, tractors and farm vehicles.
Every now and then she's a bit anxious, the owner called it spooky. I can't see any pattern yet. At the same time I have horses that are a lot worse when it comes to that. She is very responsive when I ride her and has a lot of go. Doesn't she look a little bit like my Bezze? There's a picture of her on the right sidebar. I think it's more than the color that are similar. Bezze is a purebred Arab, not started under saddle yet. I do believe that they will be a lot alike to ride though.
Before letting Cheerio back into her pasture I walked her through some narrow spaces, in between barrels and parked cars. Just to see how she would react. Many horses feel crowded and doesn't like narrow places at all. Cheerio did just fine. I know that she is experienced but that doesn't necessarily mean anything…I like seeing it for myself. She definitely lives up to my expectation. She is a good horse!