Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Dreamhorse

I will admit there are times when horse ownership is not all that great. The arrival of a bill from the vet is rarely a happy moment, but there are more emotional occasions as well, like when your horse embarrasses you in front of a bunch of barn people by acting like a total spaz.

When one buys an untrained horse, one opens the door to the possibility of plenty of those moments. I have had my challenging times with Steen, and there has been the odd day I've left the barn wondering if owning horses is really worth the expense and effort.

But then, there are days like today. I arrived at the barn this morning feeling a little stressed and a little rushed, but an hour later I left in a good mood that held throughout the rest of my day. Although I did pet Sham over the fence today, mostly I concentrated on Steen.

I brought him indoors and he was calm from the start. In spite of the fact that I couldn't tie him because another rider was using the tie-stall, he stood without fuss while I took his blanket off and brushed him. When I needed to pick his feet, he raised each foot all the way off the ground for me at the word 'lift.' When I took him into the arena bareback, he stood at the mounting block and waited for me to get on. Then he walked in a relaxed manner around the indoor arena, accepting my steering commands without protest even when he sort of wanted to walk over and sniff the mare the other boarder was riding.

When the other rider went outside, he had roughly 30 seconds of feeling like he should go outside, too, but I asked him for a few sharp turns and he calmed back down. We then trotted, and the gait was smooth, relaxed and beautiful. I then asked him to stop, and he did. And then, he stood. Steen actually stood! Voluntarily! Without me having to pull him back to a stop every ten seconds! At the end of the ride he held still for about four minutes while I sat on his back, petting him and feeling amazed.

After the ride he was polite, inquisitive, and affectionate. I left the barn thinking how great it is to have one place to go to hang out with a friend, relieve stress, and exercise - all in one go.


Now if I could just get him to be so good every time...

3 comments:

  1. I read somewhere once that the horse you want is not always the horse you need. I think it's a very true statement.

    Grats on getting Steen to stand still. Trekker sometimes has issues with standing, but I think it's Tranikla's second favorite activity. :)

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