Friday, November 09, 2007

Good horses

People have a lot of criteria for what they consider a "good" horse, and it varies depending on the person and what they want from that horse.

Me? I like a horse with some spunk, some brains, a good attitude about learning, and the willingness to trust me.

I know I'm still relatively new to all of this, and that maybe my criteria is based on the horse I have, but now that I have her, I can't imagine wanting a different type of horse.

But that's me.

Lena gave me a good example of what I consider a "good" horse yesterday. I had noticed some scuz on the inside of her rear left "thigh" the other day, but hadn't looked closely. (Yes, unlike me, I know.) When I did look at it yesterday morning, there was a scabby knot of blood and dirt there, so I took her into the barn to clean it out and see what it was.

Now, as some of you know, Lena does not hold still well. She dances and shifts from side to side in the cross ties, cranes her neck back around to see what you're doing, nibbles at the ties, etc.

Unless you're doctoring her.

I put her in the cross-ties and got some water and a towel to clean off the scab, then did that thing I'm good at - ignoring conventional wisdom about being around horses - and climbed under Lena's belly to work. She stood absolutely still, not even shifting a foot, while I scrubbed at the scab to get at whatever lay underneath.

Linda and Karen were both there and were both impressed at how still she was, both of them knowing what a rare thing that is with Lena.

It's almost like she knows I'm fixing something and - as long as she wants it fixed, too - holds still until I'm done.

I think it was a tick - there is a nice, round hole underneath all that crusty stuff, like she'd managed to get the tick out, but it left a good gouge. Ew.

At any rate, my point is that as goofy as she can be, she seems to know when to be still and let us tend something that needs attention. Even if she challenges me the very next minute in some other way, that makes a good horse in my book.

1 comment:

Horses and Things said...

Hi there Jess ... Just a comment about good horses. The fact that you have patience is a huge plus in handling a horse of Lena's age.

The genuine affection that you give her, (not just a quick scratch or pat), is what helps her know and trust you.

I was not really suprised by her standing quiet while you doctored her. We never seem to give horses enough credit for their real ability to know what is going on around them.

As she gets older she will get less easily distracted as long as your patient-firm-consistance holds out. See ya around! Linda