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Monday, April 25, 2011

Horses are Strange Critters

Saturday was, as always, a Westernaires weekend. The day was rather interesting from the beginning. We loaded Beamer and Ebony into the trailer and left Mariah home alone. For nearly eight hours. She did fine, better than the other two at any rate.

Kira is doing lessons with Carly on Ebony to help them come together. Kira has been riding a horse for just a couple of months and she is loping bare back. Comfortably and confidently. Kids are fearless. Ebony still tests her but Kira is patient and Carly coaches her until Ebony does what Kira asks. Its fun to watch because Kira's brow creased in frustration suddenly blossoms into a big bright smile. In one lesson Ebony would not pick up her right lead. She wouldn't even step up to a lope from a trot no matter how hard Kira kicker her. I got Kira a dressage whip from the trailer. Kira gave Ebony one pop with the whip and Ebony went right into the lope on the correct lead. Ebony's attitude changed from, "I'm not gona do it and you can't make me!" to. "Oh! You meant it. Why didn't you say so!!"

When we got to Carly's place for the lesson we unloaded Beamer without incident. Ebony is a bit trailer shy right now. She loads okay but she is very nervous while in the trailer. On Saturday when was backing out of the trailer and something spooked her. I did not have a good hold on the lead rope as I had just untied it from the hitching point. She spooked and shot out of the trailer backwards, stumbled and fell over backwards. It was a bit scary as I watched her rump hit the ground and she started to go over backwards and came down on her left side. Her shoulder hit and I watched as her head at the end of that long horse neck headed for the ground. Fortunately, her neck muscles are strong enough that her head did not hit the ground. She looked a bit surprised at finding her self on the ground and hopped right back up. I put her into the trailer a couple of times right away and she backed out of the trailer for slowly. I think she scared herself a bit because she was very careful and slow when backing out of the trailer.

After the lesson we loaded up and headed for Westernaires. Unloading at Westernaires went without incident, Ebony backed out slowly and calmly. And then things got interesting. First, you need to know that Beamer does not like Ebony. He chases her around the pasture and pushes her off her hay. Which is no problem since there are enough hay piles around at feeding time that she just finds another pile. Since it was our first time taking Ebony to Westernaires, we decided to walk her around the grounds to get her used to all the other horses and the activity all around. She was nervous and we worked a lot an getting her walk with her head even with whoever was leading her. She needs more lessons. The surprising part was Beamer. When Ebony walked away from the trailer he started winning and pacing. He did not want her walking away! What!? He doesn't like Ebony and now he can't stand to be separated from her!? I don't get it.

Later that day it was time for Kumi and Beamer to head to dressage class. I walked up with her to watch the class. About 5 minutes into the class my phone rings and its Kira. Now Ebony is having separation anxiety from her bully! She is pacing and pawing and just will not calm down and Kira is a bit nervous and not sure what to do. So I go down and do some more leading lessons with Ebony. She was better but there is still more work to be done. If I tied her at the trailer and stepped out of sight she immediately started pawing and whinnying for Beamer.

When Kumi got back we loaded up the horses and headed for home. The horses were unloaded without incident so we are hoping Ebony has learned a little lesson and trailering will be a bit easier for both her and us. (Besides, we absolutely do not want her shooting out of the trailer and falling over backwards again. No fun at all!) We were also hoping that Ebony and Beamer had discovered that they can actually get along. Nope. As soon as the halters came off and the hay came out, Beamer started pushing Ebony off the hay pile she had selected. Strange animals. But we love 'em anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Love reading the adventures of all of you. Poor Ebony. Tell Beamer not to stress her out.