When you have to be smarter than a horse.

I went out this morning all excited about riding.  I had a saddle, a girth to hold it on, a bridle with butter-soft reins and a fresh and frisky horse.  For the past few days, he’s been out in the pasture without a halter.  He had been coming to me easily so I felt it was okay to leave him without a halter, which is safer for the horse.

Well, this morning, he wouldn’t let me catch him.  He didn’t run from me, but he wouldn’t let me get my hands on him.  I managed to get him into the kid pen which is about 20 feet by 10, but he kept walking away keeping his rear end to me.  Since I couldn’t trust that he wouldn’t kick me, I didn’t feel comfortable walking up on him.  I tried food, but that didn’t work.  I tried just standing still ignoring him.  Nope.

Okay, if I can catch wild lambs and goat kids, I can catch a horse.  I went outside the pasture and grabbed an eight-foot-long piece of cattle panel and cornered him with the panel and caught him that way.  I put a lead rope around his neck and lead him out to where his halter was.  He’ll be wearing his halter until I know I can catch him.

Saddling and bridling went well; mounting him was difficult (he doesn’t stand still while mounting), but I managed.  Split wouldn’t stop trying to work him, so I put her up and just took Gel for our ride.  We went up to the barn that belongs to the couple that live in front of me (they breed reining horses).  Except for a few hairy moments, he behaved beautifully.  We even cantered a bit.  I rode for over an hour.

When I got back, I loaded up the dogs and headed to Wal-Mart for a few things.  As I write this, I’m drinking a jar of homemade Kefir.  Initially, it tastes a bit odd, but after a while, it actually tastes pretty good.  It’s supposed to be very beneficial to your health so I’ll keep drinking it.

While I was out riding, I heard from Split’s breeder.  I had given up on hearing from him and was pleasantly surprised to get the call.  We talked for quite a while and luckily Merlin was cooperative and stood quietly while I talked.  He asked a lot of questions about how she was working.  I told him I couldn’t be happier with her.  He invited us out to his farm Friday morning and said he’d sign her papers over to me.  That’s very good news.

Except for the A-frame, all of the agility equipment is out of the field up near the trailer ready to be loaded.  We’ll bring it to Cheri’s house New Year’s weekend.  Cheri called me this afternoon and told me that Fern is doing well.  She’s a bit timid and clingy, but I think that’s to be expected.

Until later …