Friday, July 29, 2011

Lessons learned!

July continues to be a bit on the steamy side, but we love the sunshine. I wish we had more dry days, but there isn’t much anyone can do about that, other than take it as it comes.

It looks like we’ve found someone local who will work for us getting the young stock started under saddle. It took no time at all to hear from several horse-savvy adults expressing a sincere interest in my ad for a local horse trainer who will come here to work the animals. After meeting three, we settled on Carl, who is happy with our offered terms, and arrives in such a timely manner that I could set a watch by him. We are on the same page regarding what needs to be done with which horses and in what order. He started at the beginning of last week and has three of the seven we want started under saddle riding happily down our country roads.

The horses are being desensitized to traffic, to plastic bags (which are down right frightening), to barking dogs defending their driveways, and also to pastures filled with cattle, which are curious looking creatures to the uninitiated horse.

Carl, who is in his mid 50s, is a bit of a naturalist too. When he spots aluminum cans while riding, Carl stops to collect each one in a plastic bag he keeps looped over the saddle horn. Each dismount, remount and exposure to cans rattling in the plastic bag are lessons for the horse. By the time the three- or four-hour ride is done, the horse has learned many things, including what rattles and shakes is not going to hurt them; more exposure helps to build trust and reassurance. It is a wonderful thing to watch. At week’s end Carl trades his can collection in for cash.

As the horses get more time under saddle, are safe to trail ride and less spooky, we will list them for sale on the various equine websites. Even in this economy, horses still bring decent prices and go to good homes. For us, a good home is the most important piece to the horse-for-sale puzzle.


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