A solid trail horse is more than safe for their rider. They exude a calm that can help every horse in it's company. Woody is one of those horses.
The few times he has startled, it's been so surprising, he seems quite chagrined about the experience.
He also has a funny side. He loves watermelon. He swings his hips in the water like a salsa dancer. He now likes to actually swim a bit and we are giving him the nickname Michael Phelps.
Even Mireya, who is still a bit cautious about the horses, actually rode him in the water, and proclaimed it the best day ever. She asked if we could go every single day.
He flips his feet out in the trot, bending his head at the poll, looking like he belongs in the Queen's livery.
He and Lily have worked through hay sharing, and Lily will buck and have a fit if she doesn't get to go with us. So more often than not, I ride with both, ponying one or the other, and they stay in synch. It's lovely, really.
I've learned a great deal in this first horsekeeping experience. For example:
- Scorpions hide in hay at night. Wear gloves.
- Mud in egg butt shoes turns into concrete in 6 hours. Pick out often.
- A black horse is impossible to find at night.
- Mud must be rolled in. Period.
- Manure disintegrates quite quickly. Unless your horse rolls it into his coat.
- Fly predators work.
- Round bales last longer, but some are baled in a way that makes them impossible to pull hay from.
- Grooming becomes less important than simply being with your horse. Especially after they rolled in the mud.
- Riding is just one goal.
- There is such a thing as too much twine, netting, and wire. Stop hoarding.
- Alfalfa is harder to get out of your boots than hay.
- Horses at home are pretty affordable, if you ignore the added cost of the land. :)
I look forward to the day when horse keeping is a permanent fact of my life and not merely a fun summer vacation.