Tuesday 26 March 2019

Baby Horse Goals

If time is limited I often just pop on Bridget bareback for trail rides and neighborhood explorations. I'm not the best rider in the world, so while I feel secure enough trail riding and doing basic arena work sans saddle, there are situations that leave me feeling a little vulnerable. Luckily, Bridget is the most responsible of ponies and while she's quite capable of throwing in a lot of silly, feel, good antics, she is rock solid when it comes to scary things and real world situations.

Best mare

Like last weekend when a lost(?) street sweeper found us. Early on a Saturday morning, on a very rural, only sort of paved road outside the city limits. Weird, right?

Cleaning the gravel road.

Bridget was like "Large truck coming behind us. Got this." Then "Why is the large truck creeping along behind us so slowly?" Finally, "Wait, that truck is weird. I think it is also throwing rocks everywhere!" And so, I finally listened, looked behind us and pulled her into the nearest driveway, which of course the dog that lives there took offense to. She waited, with big eyes and a tense body, for the truck to pass and watched it spit dust and gravel at our feet, while the dog ran and barked behind us. Then, situation averted, B happily left the driveway and the dog to follow along behind the street sweeper once the way was clear. I let out a big sigh of relief, because even though I trust her, sitting on her without a saddle in a potentially scary situation kind of left me more at her mercy than I might have liked.

Striking a dramatic pose the previous day.

I'm always grateful that Bridget comes with a ton of common sense and is not one to worry too much about life. Bridget came with the whole 'wait and think' attitude towards new and interesting situations, so I can't take much credit for her being so reasonable about them. 

It did get me thinking though, that I'd sure love for Sophie to learn to approach life with a similar mindset. One day, I'd love to be able to hop on her without a saddle, to make mistakes, to not be the best rider in the world, and to not need to worry too much about any of that. She's definitely a bit of a spicy pony, and much more inclined to react a bit randomly if she's unsure, but she's got a good brain in there too and wants to be a good girl, so I think it's doable.

Baby Banana Pony is getting dapples again.

Baby horse goal #1: There's no way you can ever show them everything, control the world around them, and never make a mistake. So, my most important priority in the near future is that I'd like to give Sophie the basic set of tools to handle new and unexpected situations confidently and successfully.

Such concepts start small, though. Currently she is learning that standing tied by herself is something she can do.

We were discussing some similar things this weekend, when someone stated that horses should not be allowed to have opinions on things. My thoughts were that I really want my horses to think for themselves and 'talk' to me and that I actually like it when they've got opinions on things, because I would do well to listen to them. Sometimes it's simply a training opportunity, sometimes it's very valid input...like Bridget with the street sweeping truck...I would have happily kept being the bad horsewoman texting on my phone without a care in the world until we were pelted with rocks, except Bridget very kindly let me know that while she was happy to continue to do her job and walk and share the road with the truck, this was also not a normal truck and that perhaps my input into the situation might be helpful  :) 



  1. As weird as this sounds, even tho you live hours away from me, I kinda dig that you and I have our horses in the same circumstances - road riding and dealing with neighbor dogs/ trucks, etc. Reading along I was like "oh yes, totally been there with a 'scary' truck and someone's relentless dog trying to shoo us from their driveway".

    1. Our towns and horsey communities are very, very similar! The short time I worked up there I felt right at home :) I love it too, always fun to read and chat with someone who 'gets it' re: the good and bad of semi isolated BC places, road riding, and boarding in a rural neighborhood. Plus, you have a Spud and an Annie and you're super cool for that alone.

    2. It's really refreshing to see, to be honest. You and I have quite a few hurdles to overcome (I would even say that you are more secluded than I am), but we both find ways to make it work and I love that.

      Aww thank you :) I love reading B and Banana Pony adventures :)

  2. I think in that situation I may have had a heart attack lol

    1. The place with the dog also has a guy that does chainsaw carvings some days, so silver lining there because the dog is definitely the lesser of those two evils.