Today was a day for many firsts for Hunter: he had really little kids around and on him, he got smacked for the first time ever, and he got ridden ,sort of, with a bridle.
My tiny nieces came over with mom and Veronica, the saddle broke niece. Hunter had no idea what to make of these squeaky dog-sized creatures. He snuffled and eyeballed them and then I assume he determined they were tiny humans. It is best described by the conversations. I leave it to the reader to figure out who is talking.
"We're going to ride the PONY!" "I love you Hunter. Give me a kiss." "Hunter's the best pony in the whole world." "I'll keep your pony treats for you because you don't have pockets." "Maybe Hunter has pockets." "Is that fence strong enough? Those other horses can get right through that and hurt the babies." "Hey look, pony treats all over the ground." "No no. Those aren't pony treats, that's pony poo." " I want to ride first." " Come around the front of the pony...no that's the back of the pony." " My poo isn't as big as Hunter's." "Can people eat pony treats?" " Oh no, is anyone eating pony treats right now?" "I'm going to pretend that this is our pet and I'm riding him. Only I have a helmet on and we're running." "Don't be mad. She doesn't have to hold a pretend helmet." " Hunter kissed me again. I ate his kiss so I could keep it." "You didn't eat any pony treats did you? DID YOU?" "I want a second ride." "Are you sure that fence is strong enough? It looks like some of those fence posts are going to fall over." "I have a boo boo and it's leaking." "That's not a boo boo. That's where you ate a popsicle and it dripped on you." "Look look grandma! I'm riding all by myself!" "Don't let go of Hunter's mane, even to wave to grandma." " I want to hold the pony's string and pull him." "Do ponies go to kindergarten?"
Oh, you think I am making this up? I assure you, I am not that clever.
Dear reader, I have never had children. I had great empathy for Hunter today, because this non-stop tiny person chatter was as alien to me as to him. We spent about a half hour leading the children about, me on one side holding on the kid of the moment and Veronica on the other. Hunter was unbelievably gentle and instinctively, perhaps, stopped anytime he was unclear as to what he should do. Welcome to your destiny, Hunter!
During this process, Hunter deliberately banged me hard with his head and got a swat to the offending part for his trouble. I don't like to do this, but you all have seen horses punish each other for rudeness. I was mild compared to what they do to each other. And no, there wasn't a kid on him at the time. He took it like a horse and was over it quickly.
VV decided she wanted to ride Hunter, too. So I put on a bridle over his halter and gave her a leg up. The bridle has no bit in it. I want to get Hunter's mouth conditioned by line driving with a bit before he gets ridden with one. Hunter had one lunge lesson so far, during which he was a bit goosey about the whip. I did not use it this lesson because VV was up bareback and I only wanted walking today and no worriedness about what I was doing with the whip. He had no trouble understanding clucking during the previous lesson, but whoa was a problem. The reverse happened today. I think it was because the kid-on-back element was making him unsure. We worked only on the off side again today. I kept a fairly short line and walked the circle so I could get to them if it was necessary. Sometimes I had to move in and touch his rump with my hand to get him going if clucking didn't work. Squeezing him with the legs meant nothing today. It will come with time, I am sure. VV would ask for a whoa, tightening the reins and relaxing them as soon as he stopped. She also kept him from turning his left eye toward me and kept his body perpendicular to the line using the reins. He did very well and never fought the bridle once. We stopped after 10 minutes or less, because I didn't want Hunter mentally taxed any more. Veronica got to ride Keisha ,after we put him to pasture, as a reward for her help with the little girls and little Hunter.
It was a marvelous day, although a bit bewildering for Hunter, filled with new exciting things. A lot like kindergarten. And Hunter is learning his ABC's very well.
Once, long ago, there was a Monday from hell
6 years ago