Friday, February 17, 2012

Back on the Horse - Part 3

Heaven is high and earth wide. If you ride three feet higher above the ground than other men, you will know what that means. ~Rudolf C. Binding

I talked to Miss Annette the following week to see if we could ride Molly, Mack, and Peanut and she said we could. She reminded me not to leave Molly's halter on. I told her that it was my intention to take it off last week, but Molly had intentions of her own. She told me not to let Molly get away with such things, but I was already determined to get her behave the next time and had a secret plan.

I also talked about how things had gone the week before with the other mother. Annette was a surprised as I had been. She also was under the impression that the mother was experienced and had plans to teach her children about how to train and handle horses. I thought she might be thinking I was just complaining, but instead she thanked me for telling her as she felt this was information she needed to know.

The mother asked that I specifically work with her son grooming Molly, which I agreed to do that day. We also needed to walk the minis. I was planning on handling Blue, but while I was helping clean Ribbon's hooves, another mini, she decided that three cleaned hooves were enough and tried to bite and kick me. I promptly took her out to the arena were she continued that behavior and more. I finally thought she was settling down and stopped. Then she tried to swing her backside around and kick me again...very deliberately. She was walked and walked and walked some more until she stopped.

By that time, I was a bit of a nervous wreck thinking I still had Molly to contend with as well. I asked everyone to not go into the higher pasture until I had a chance to get Molly alone. Earlier in her stall, after she had eaten, I opened an empty vial of rosemary oil essence for her to smell. She liked the smell very much. As I approached slowly her in the pasture, I made sure I was upwind of her and opened the vial again. She actually stood still and calm with ears up while I latched the lead onto her halter. She walked back to the barn easily.

The youngest girl loves Peanut but dislikes Molly and she believes Molly hates her. She reminds me of my own daughter, often saying things that she just makes up as she goes, like she is an expert mostly because she is so enthusiastic it just has to pour out of her somehow. On Saturday afternoons, the family has been going for training in judging horses' confirmation at another place so she tries but often judges Molly wrongly because of her bias. She stated Molly's ears were down and she was being aggressive when they were just back and she was alert. This time she stated that she did not think Molly could possibly be a quarter horse because they are usually a solid color and Molly is a buckskin. I tried to patiently explain that quarter horses can be any color and that my aunt had two buckskin quarter horses and one bay. If I was Molly, I think I would bare my teeth at her too.

Once Molly was in her stall, I held her lead while the boy began grooming. She is losing her winter coat so lots of hair was coming off. He had to be trained in how to groom, but was constantly afraid of her biting, which she was not trying to do at all and she could not have gotten to him even if she was of the mind to do it--I, on the other hand, was in the more vulnerable spot. She was the calmest I have ever seen her be in her stall. The boy did everything, even cleaned the hooves which was his first time. Molly took her bit and saddle easily.

I had the boy walk her in the arena while I put on Mack's bridle and cinched up the two ponies. Later we all were in the arena. The children all rode and changed their mounts. Mack and Peanut were still being stubborn, but Molly was doing well. We only walked them, although the girls did lead Peanut into a trot. They all had fun. I rode Molly, which was my first time with her and I have got to say that she is the best trained one of those three; just a shift in weight and she turns. I enjoyed riding her; many of the older 4-H members learned to ride on her. I also rode Mack to get him to respond to me and have some ideas about getting him to do better.

This week we did not ride as it was too wet and we did chores in record time. The mother told me that she is now planning to lease three well-trained horses at the other place she has been going to on Saturday afternoons for training in judging horses' confirmation. It is open to 4-H members, but our weekends are pretty busy and with my husband traveling as much as he does, it is the only time I can reasonably count on him being home and rested, so we have not gone. The mother has told me that she will keep coming on Tuesdays but they have to go the other place daily when they begin leasing. I am not so sure that will work out for them to do both. They need saddles and helmets now as well. Their grandfather is paying for the leasing of the horses as they thought they would only be able to afford leasing one. I am happy for them but....

Here is the trouble I am having...I envy them. I have given more time and effort doing the grunt work at the barn, while learning as much as I could, with only a handful of riding times for the Princess and this family who seems to have much to learn is being handed so much. I know that from now on the Princess will be riding more often whether they continue on Tuesdays or not, but I would love to do something like that for her. However, we are determined to not add anything extra until we pay down our debt. If all goes well, it should be about a year from now. Realistically, though, we need to replace the siding on the house so I am not sure if that is likely to happen then either. Part of me feels that I would like to lease a horse right now, but the other part is telling me that the Princess will continue to learn, become more experienced, and be more responsible, if it is a few years later before we would do something like that. And, maybe, God has a plan that does not involve leasing but actually owning. He plans are often bigger than mine.

~ My Lord, help me not to be envious but thankful, patient, and trusting. Your plans are far better than mine. I help me keep my faith in You. ~


  1. I have been visiting & reading with interest ~ just busy & on battery not electric for the computerbecause of the travelling. [Dino has his lisence ~ yay! ~ so his part is finished]

    I understand the envy all too well. I watch kids just waltz into the music program & get private lessons ~ whole hours at a time even! :( & we, who have done the really hard yards & all the performances eke out a meagre 1/2 hour shared lesson [first time Star is doing regular private lessons at all] & struggle to manage everything. I want to rail Not fair! Not fair! when it's just me being envious of someone else's good fortune.

    1. I can say that whether or not the family still helps out on Tuesday morning, the Princess will be riding more this coming year. Perhaps the best thing to come out of all this is that I realized I am better at all this than I thought I was so now I have more self-confidence in letting her ride when it is just the two of us.


Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.