Tuesday 25 June 2024

Proceeding Gently

I've been slowly, slowly creeping out from under my rock and inching back into the world.

Tradey/Reggie/Buddy (I really need to settle on a name and stick to it. I call him Buddy but that started as a joke and just cannot be his name forever lol) had an outing this past weekend. There was a working equitation clinic at the club grounds that for whatever reason felt like 'too much' to commit myself to. But the lovely friend putting it on mentioned I was welcome to stop by and borrow the course outside of clinic hours. That felt like the low commitment option I needed, so I loaded up Tradey and off we went. He's going to be the most fun, he was zero percent scared or worried about any of it and was mostly just interested in trying to steal anything not nailed down. He's so curious about everything. It mostly outweighed thoughts of wanting to chat with the horses stabled nearby, but there was a little anxious looking and calling for friends. Overall, he was a super star. He'd be good to go for an in hand trail course  and I can't even take any credit for it. It's just who he is.

Champion of the world pose

We followed that up with a short hike through the nearby forest, but we timed our return a little wrong. Long term readers might remember when I boarded nearby and mentioned the chaos that comes with the weekend farmer's market. It has it's own space but people end up parking on both sides of the road leading in and all through the staging area for the trail network. I'd completely forgotten about it (like HOW DID I FORGET THOUGH? Bridget legit got bumped into by a car there and another time ended up with a dog hanging off her tail). So there I was with my yearling, popping out of the trail head to find we were blocked in by parking, and needing to cross the road to get back to the relative safety of the equestrian club grounds. Tradey got to see his first bicycling people, off lead dogs, children running up to him, traffic and parked cars, with people exiting and entering, slamming doors, pulling out strollers and umbrellas. Just everything you could imagine, it was there in one 5 min walk. One 'lovely' person even tried to drive by us so closely there legit wasn't room for us all. No one was giving us any personal space. And...he was not worried at all. Like who is this pony?

G taking him hiking. He was so well behaved, like when did he suddenly learn good manners? How did this happen? (Tradey, not G, for the record. G's manners are questionable ;)

Buck. Finally, finally, we got the all clear from the vet. That nasty infection from his gelding incision kept coming back. 6 weeks of antibiotics later, it was looking good. We ultrasounded last week and fingers crossed, the last of it is gone and he had his last pills last night. 

Quality pony deserves a more quality photo, but this is what I have this week.

He was doing so well with trailer loading, and was my first choice for the above outing, but then scared himself badly the other day when he turned around and bumped off the clipped back divider and it made a rattly sound. I love that he came right back and tried again for me, but we'll have to build him up a little again. He's pretty reliable and confident about hopping in right away but still gets anxious/panicky if you leave him there alone. I think he'd be good with a friend to lend him a bit of confidence, so I will have to set that up and make things more fair for him. Having three horses at home is lovely, but it does mean the math doesn't work with a two horse trailer. Sophie isn't great home alone, and neither is anyone else at the moment. It's fun that both Sophie and Tradey are happy to go out alone. Buck less so, but willing. I think a confident friend to accompany him for a bit would be beneficial. But no one wants to be the one left behind!

Peas in a pod

Their little cottage still cracks me up. They love it.

I know the herdbound tendencies are normal and part of who they are. Sophie is extremely social and herd oriented, and I feel like at this point she is who she is. She's great to take out alone. If I leave her home alone she paces and calls (and sometimes takes out some anger by kicking the fence) but that's about the extent of it. Annoying, but manageable. On a bigger place I'd be more willing to completely roll with it, but we do have neighbors who definitely notice the noise so I try to be considerate of timing and length of our outings.

I can strive for a more peaceful experience with the boys, so it's something to continue to work on until hopefully both boys are happy enough at home alone for bits of time. At some point they will need to be less joined at the hip. They spend almost every waking hour playing and grooming and generally interacting with each other. I feel like that's how it should be at this age. I have started putting them in adjacent spaces or alternating their time out in the field so they're not always together every moment of the day. We take it slowly, I'd like to set a precedent for non stressful 'alone' time but there is no rush, I feel like the socializing and interaction they get from living together far outweighs the downside of them being maybe a little too codependent. Poor Buck definitely got the neighbours attention and was very upset with being left behind last weekend. Sophie is taking her 'parenting' very seriously so was also crying and not as much as a comfort as we had hoped.

Sophie. I have put feelers out for a sale or lease situation, but that's still pretty fluid and nothing has been confirmed or decided. I'm hopeful we can find her the right situation. I'm not putting a ton of effort into it yet, just if the right thing comes along, then great. Despite my above complaining about how she's not great alone, she's actually really easy to have around and we both really like her. Definitely not a decision I'll rush into. Lately, when I go to get everyone from the big field she's taken it upon herself to round up the boys and keep them waiting at the gate with her. Which is actually super convenient, lol, they are unpredictable little monkeys and normally are off playing in some far corner, totally oblivious to the outside world or dinner time.

The halters hanging on the gate kept going missing. Wonder what happened.

 Anyway, I've set myself a deadline to get serious about rehoming her next spring. Like the title says, proceeding gently and all that. It doesn't feel like a slam dunk decision I'm happy with yet, but equally I feel like some change is needed.

Waiting for dinner

Outside of my own horsey happenings, I've volunteered at a show in a couple of weeks and have been spending a bit of time here and there with meetings and learning for that. I'm just helping with set up and organization, then scribing for the judge on show days. It's going to be a learning experience because I'm pretty unfamiliar with working eq shows and haven't ever volunteered for anything licensed under national rules, but I think a nice way to dip my toe back into horse shows, etc.



  1. This all sounds like positive progress. The separation thing is so tricky. For my two the consistency really helps. But I’m not confident enough to leave one behind yet.

  2. All good stuff and so impressed with your boys and how they handle things.
    Love the pony cottage-so cute!

  3. Working equitation looks so interesting. I've never attended an event, but I've read lots about it on the web. I like looking at the obstacles and all the patterns. How neat to take Reggie/Buddy out for a trial run on course (not to mention the farmer's market!). And how very cool of you to volunteer at the upcoming working eq event.