Monday, 9 November 2015

Welcome to Adulthood, my dear Hippo

August marked a full year with the Hippo, the first consistent year she's ever had.  With the end of her first year comes the transition to being asked to behave like an adult who has to work for a living.

The tone of our rides lately:
Yes, adulting is hard
No, adulting isn't optional
Yes, you may have an apple afterward
I hear you, dear horse
I mean, I get it.  Adulting is highly overrated.  But if I can work full-time to keep her sheltered, she can suck it up to work 5+ hours per week.

But this transition to adulthood has to happen. Now we're transitioning to fall, so aptly named.  Its a season of crisp temperatures, shorter days and increasing equine dumbassery.  And the Hippo is feeling much more full of herself.  Evidently the temptation to spook at everything/nothing for sheer entertainment purposes has been irresistible. However, I appear to have found a solution!

Welcome to the Samuel L Jackson school of attitude adjustment, where spooking results in an instant Pulp Fiction-esque response.
Or in our case "Spook again, Hippo"
Lest you think I am unreasonably harsh, I did give her 5 months to acclimatize in the ring + 24/7 turnout + regular work + hacking + majority roughage diet. And did I mention that the behavior was almost absent at horse shows?  Hippo logic, spook = distract = don't have to work so hard.

We're approaching the point where I see my darling mare eyeball or tilt an ear at things she usually spooks at and decide "It ain't worth it."
Not worth spooking? Good decision
Thank god for that, because she's usually spooking at the arena itself.  You see, we're in a cover-all type ring ... on top of a hill ... on the ocean ... going into winter. The end walls of the arena wiggle, waver and 'flap' randomly and with increasing frequency.   And its a very, very long time until spring.

The flapping, like these adorable ears ... with more 'exciting' results

Monday, 2 November 2015

Hug Your Horses

A great horse passed today. Not a famous horse, or a fancy horse, a big plain bay with just a little white.

A big goof who happily came out of a field to show his new person the wonders of eventing; who gave a returning rider wings and heart.

He'd gallop madly down a beach but always keep his person safe. Rampaging over ditches, locking merrily onto jumps with a spring and a tail swish.  Honest and kind, with a hint of the devil, so no one got bored.

A practically perfect partnership, over far too soon.  Wither scratches and hair nibbles, evening rides with an old dog dancing behind, hacks with friends, competitions filled with laughter, apples and cider.

Hugs your horses, its always too soon.