Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Date Night

On Wednesdays Robin and I always have some sort of date night. Sometimes we stay in and eat cheap Chinese food or just have leftovers and watch silly movies or TV shows. Other times we go out. Last week was a particularly enjoyable date at Giavanni's with great food and a super tasty bottle of pinot grigio.

But this week Robin is out of town. So I had to take Steen out. I don't usually bring things to date night, but as Steen and I are still getting comfortable together when it is just the two of us, I thought it would be rude to show up empty handed. So I brought him a new fly mask. I'm not sure how he feels about it yet, but he did take it.

It was a nice night, and there was not much happening at the "barn." I went in the evening because that is when dates usually happen, but also because I did not want any construction crews with nail guns ruining the ambiance. And it is a good thing I waited; things have been happening.
On the left you can see Steen by the red gate sporting his new fly mask.

The lack of construction crews was great, but then we had a date crasher. When I picked Steen up from the pasture his little adopted nephew would not stay with the herd. I don't do threesomes and did my best to send this message to the little thing. He didn't take it too well. Steen and I had a ways to walk to get to the gate, and the baby would go tearing back and forth, kicking his heels up, and then stop a few feet in front of us, hind quarters facing me. I used this moment to prove to Steen that I was a worthy, and somewhat tough, date. After many snaps, shoves and smacks with the lead rope, he relented. Steen was remarkably calm throughout all this.

Then I tied him to the trailer and we had a nice grooming session. I could not remember the proper knot for horse tying, but I kind of remembered what it looked like. So I imitated as best I could. It might not have been right, but he could have easily gotten out of it. Thankfully we were having a good time together, so he was in no hurry to leave.

After the grooming, hoof picking, and grazing we went for an after dinner stroll down a pretty gravel path. Things were going great. Or so I thought. After we rounded a bend and walked into a corn field Steen started to get antsy and did not want to be there. Perhaps he thought I would try to take advantage of him now that no one was around.

I didn't push him, but as he grew increasingly antsy and nervous I felt I should take a minute to give him a job to do and calm him down. So we disengaged the hindquarters and did a little backing. He took a few steps back and I still had plenty of rope in my hand and wanted to get one more enthusiastic step back. I gave the rope a rough shake, put my hand out, stood tall, and firmly said, "back, back."

Instead, Steen decided to run around me in circles. Great. Now our easy stroll turned into a crazy version of groundwork where I was trying to cut off Steen as he whipped around me. I got him to do some quick disengages a couple of times, but this wasn't enough to relax him. Right after the disengage he would just turn and run in the other direction.

I finally managed to shorten the rope and get him to come to me. With his head down we walked back towards the rest of the herd. He only gave a few snorts, and when I slowed his fast walk down, he was OK with it.

He didn't ask me out again, but I think I might just show up sometime anyways. In the meantime I'll enjoy the nice St. Bernardus Tripel that I picked up tonight.


  1. I think carrots would have been a better "date gift". :) At least, my guys seem to think so.

  2. Perhaps. I think of carrots as being similar to chocolate. They are sweet, and welcome at just about anytime. But the fly-mask is more like a knit wool sweater. It has some holes, but offers protection and comfort for the long haul.


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