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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kira's Boyfriend Moves In

In March of 2013 our fourth horse (Yes, we really have four now!) moved in.  It was an interesting move.  The day we went to see him it was windy.  Very wind.  45mph guesting to 60mph.  We had to drive from Arvada to Yuma, roughly 160 miles one way.  On the way to Yuma the wind was at our back.  I burned less than a 1/4 tank of fuel.  On the way back to home we burned the remaining 3/4 of the tank.  That was some serious wind!  Here is Boyfriend.

This was just before their first parade together.

Anybody who works with horses knows that anytime you get a new horse it takes some time for them to acclimate to their new home and new job.  When we got Ebony she stayed at home for about four weeks to get used to her new place before we started taking her to Westernaires.  When we started taking her to Westernaires we would take her and walk her around to get her used to all the commotion around her before we started riding her.  I think it took us about 8 weeks to transition her into Westernaiers.  Even then, it took Ebony a good nine months to bond to her new heard including the humans in that herd.

We were planning that with Boyfriend as well.  It didn't work out that way at all.  He was a much calmer horse so we took him down to Westernaires straight away.  He did fine.  So we took him the next week and tried him in class.  He did fine.  Calm and collected and paid attention to Kira.  No problems.  So we took him to Trick class.  He wasn't quite sure what to do with that.  He was trained as a cow horse.  As soon as Kira swung a leg over and was standing in one stirrup Boyfriend did what any good cow horse would do, he stopped.  It took a couple of trips around the arena for him to figure out that he wasn't supposed to stop.  He now runs , and I mean runs, the trick pattern just fine.  Its getting him to slow down a bit so Kira can learn new tricks that is tricky.

Kira was in Junior Grand Entry and one of their rules is that you have to use the same horse that you start with.  Kira started with Ebony but we couldn't user her anymore so we went and talked to the instructors.  They said give him a try so we did.  Again, he did fine.  Much calmer while doing his job for Grand Entry.  Here is Kira working with Boyfriend with a little help from Kumi.

Here are Kumi and Kira just plain having fun.

Boyfriend is is also working as Kumi's second horse for Horse Romans.  She is less thrilled.  Boyfriend and Beamer tolerate each other when forced too otherwise Beamer is the dominant horse and likes reminding Boyfriend of that fact.  Boyfriend and Beamer have very different gates and are a bit different in height and that makes it very hard to stand on their backs.  Boyfriend has not yet figured out the ques for turning so when Kumi is trying to get the horses to turn at the same time it never quite works.  The end of the summer was very busy with parades and shows so she missed several practices but now that we are back on winter schedule, she should be able to make some more progress.

In short we, the instructors and all our friends at Westernaires were all surprised and impressed that Boyfriend settled into Westernaiers and all that we asked of him in two weeks.  And he is still doing fine.  He is the bottom horse in the pasture at home and that has led to bumps and scrapes and even a trip to the vet when Mariah kicked him in the back legs and opened up a big cut.  He is healed now.

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