The opinions expressed in previous entries may or may not express the current opinion of the author.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More Walking

Yesterday Bridget and I had a nice walk together. We travelled over a mile before Bridget quite abruptly, but calmly, decided it was time to head back.

Before the turnaround point, although there had been several occasions when Bridget had to stop and look hard at what was ahead, each time she wanted to continue after the potential hazard had been duly inspected. We passed the sheep field with scarcely a glance, and when we reached the neighbour's horses, it was clear Bridget considered herself part of my team and not theirs.

The other horses, however, called loudly to her.
On the way home, a neighbour stopped to introduce himself. He got out of his car, and as we talked, Bridget acted exactly like a human three-year old: I'm bored, I thought we were going home, no I don't want to stand here and listen to you talking, I don't want to be polite to this person, COME ON let's go!

When we got home, Bridget's reunion with George was much less dramatic than after our last walk - if still heartfelt.

Today, George's girl decided to ride him bareback. He registered no objection to the bridle going on or to my daughter mounting up. However, once she was on board, he looked sour, fussed with his bit, and didn't want to go forward.

We talked about the Happy George that we've been seeing a lot of lately - the George who feels himself surrounded by companions who won't steal his food, who won't be mean to him, whom he can trust, and who will take care of him. I said we want the Happy George to be the one who accompanies us on rides.

My daughter was very patient. When he didn't want to move forward, she just let him to stand facing in the desired direction. If he backed up a few steps, she let him. Pretty soon, the sour face was gone, the ears were lopped again, and Happy George was back.

All of a sudden George decided to set off on a trail ride. He took himself and his rider down the road a ways, and then selected a tractor trail leading off from the road. I came following behind, leading Bridget. At a certain point, we steered the horses left into a large circle around the rear of our property, leading us back onto the road, and then home. George marched along, looking eager and relaxed.

And it was a special walk for Bridget, because today for the very first time .....

she wore a saddle!
I don't think the Wintec is going to fit Bridget, and it slipped forward during the course of our walk, but without a rider, I think it was ok. Half way along our route, I pulled the stirrups down so they'd flap against her sides and get her used to such things. She was not bothered by any of this.

The four of us had a very nice time. We had not been planning to leave the yard, and it was George who took the lead and decided we would go for a proper walk. I'm beginning to feel as if these horses are like the talking animals in Narnia.

And I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rose for all her good work with George!


  1. June I am with you about the talking horses of Narnia. I love that description of your daughter's ride with George. Do you find that George and Bridget need a different approach from you? For example, does Bridget need more leadership?

  2. Hmm good question. They do want/need a different approach. Bridget is very egalitarian and cheerful. She likes to be partners, or buddies, and it's easy to get her to walk beside you. On the other hand, she readily cedes leadership to you if you decide on something.

    George is more delicate emotionally, and while he prefers someone else to be in charge, he feels the need to take over if he's not sure. My feeling about his ride with my daughter is that when he found himself with a rider, he felt some extra confidence, enabling him to set off exploring - in the field, he's never the one to move off somewhere ahead of the others. He just loves having Rose be his mom, and maybe having a rider was a bit having like an inner mom who goes with you wherever you want.