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

Friday, July 29, 2011

This & That

We are in the middle of our annual summer drought.

It rains a little every week or so, but the grass wisely refuses to come out of dormancy. There's still a little green growing on the lawn, so I try to let the horses out into the yard for a couple of hours every day.

George proved his gallantry again the other day when I went into the pasture with carrots. After giving some to him and to Bridget, and managing to sneak one to Chloe, I wanted to give Rose hers. But, unlike Chloe, who stares wide-eyed at me, waiting for the opportunity to get her share, Rose was modestly hanging back a little distance away.

I told George that I was going to give Rose her carrot and then come back and give the rest to him and Bridget (who isn't afraid to hover inches away and therefore can be given a treat from the right hand while I give George one from the left). He stopped and stood still while I walked away to give Rose her carrot, and he waited til I came back with his other carrot as promised.

George has been getting more demanding about wanting scratches. He noodges me with his head and waggles his back leg (like Bridget does). This is good I think because a) he didn't used to like being scratched at all, and b) I'm happy that he asks for things, even if sometimes I'm a bit stupid about knowing what it is he's asking for.

Yesterday, Rose and George took my great-niece and great-nephew for a ride. (My nephew is only 10 years younger than me, and his kids are a year older and a year younger, respectively, than my youngest.) As has happened before, Rose and George seemed to sense beforehand what was afoot. The horses had been loose in the yard, and I planned to return Bridget and Chloe to the field and keep the other two out. As I was putting  Chloe and Bridget back, George and Rose planted themselves over next to the young humans and seemed to say - "Ok, we're ready." Or maybe it's my imagination!

The ride went very nicely. Although my great-niece has been riding for over two years, her experience has been mostly confined to riding in arenas. I told her to give Rose a long rein, trust her as much as possible, listen to her, talk to her, and let her stop if she wanted to pause for reconnoitering. My great-nephew hasn't had much experience at all, but George was good to him, and they even did some trotting.

Setting off, accompanied by pedestrian attendants.

p.s. I'm happy I switched to a bitless bridle for Rose, because when she sees me coming with the bridle now, she remains placid. When we were transitioning, she still turned away from the bitless - she probably hadn't yet realized that it was going to be different each time.

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