My, how time flies. Is it really January 11th. I keep promising myself to post at least weekly and I never quite seem to. Ah, well. Maybe I'll add that to my list of New Years resolutions. So, where to start...
A Girl and Her Horse
Kira has been working with Ebony. We took Ebony for a long walk by herself and she was just as calm as you could ask for. When we took her to Westernaires she was less calm but better. We walked her all the way to the arenas and she didn't start to get nervous until we asked her to stand calmly. Kumi rode Ebony in a ride last week and she did okay. A bit stubborn and a bit dancy but she didn't kick or bite the other horses. Looks like Kira will start riding Ebony in Westernaires this weekend! She's excited. I think it will be good for both of them.
After we got back from our walk we saddled up Ebony and spent he next half hour trying to get on her. She has decided that she doesn't want people to get on. Once on, she is wonderful. Its just getting on. She pins her ears, tries to bite you, backs up and whatever else she can think of to keep you from getting on. So we patiently and calmly move her back into position when she walks away. We let her know that pinning her ears is not acceptable and that biting will not be tolerated. I was standing by her head, talking nicely to Ebony and gently stroking her neck to keep her calm and Kira tried to get on. Horses are quick. In the blink of an eye Ebony pinned her ears and bit my arm (coat technically, she didn't get me). But she knew what was coming next and tried pull her head up and away from me. Unfortunately for her, I had a hold of her reigns and she couldn't get her head away from me. I am hoping that she learned that biting will not be tolerated at all from the smack she got. She was a bit more contrite the next time Kira put a foot in the stirrup.
In working with Carly, our trainer, we have learned that when horses misbehave you need to give them a good smack. This always bothered me. I mean, its just a horse being a horse and hitting an animal always seems so cruel. Since the horses have come to live in our back yard I have learned something about horse discipline by watching how the horses discipline each other. They will bite and kick each other. Much much harder than I can ever hope to hit one of them. We have dealt with cuts and abrasions caused by them biting and kicking each other. After a couple of good kicks all a horse needs to do is pin its ears and the other go running.
When I am picking hooves I have a chance to compare my hand to the horses hoof. Their hoof is much MUCH harder than my hand and their leg mussels pack way more punch than my arms ever will. So no matter how hard I hit my horse, I will never be able to inflict the kind of damage that horses inflict on each other. The, trick of course, is to be the master of your emotions. If I pick up a whip and go after a horse then I can inflict some pretty nasty cuts and that is just abuse. So whether you are using your hand or a whip or crop, one good smack is all that is required to get the point across to the horse that they need to stop what they are doing. So when you see people hitting a horse, don't think they are being cruel, they are just speaking horse, as it were.
I got something totally cool for Christmas - chinks!
I have had a chance to ride in them a couple of times and I like them during these cold, windy wintry days. The do a great job of keeping my legs warm and dry. And the look really cool!
I made some pens over the Holidays. Pictures tomorrow (or the next day or the day after. Just depends).