Today we started out with breakfast at Town & Country before driving over to the farm to pick up G for a trail ride. He was out in the far pasture, so I grabbed a wrapped peppermint just in case I need enticement.
I walked down the center aisle, called a couple of times, and he barely picked his head up. I said the magic words "were you a good boy?" and he lifted his head. I then started crinkling the peppermint in my hand, and viola, he walked over to me. I slipped on his halter and off we walked. This is new for me. In the 9 years I've owned G, all the barns required horses to wear halters while outside. The new barn likes them naked...and naked he is, no halter, no fly mask. Mister I can't stand to have flies touch my face, is so happy eating real pasture that he really pays them little mind these days.
I grabbed the grooming tote and what used to take me 30 minutes to do, took 10. It is such a pleasure to have a clean horse when I show up at the barn. No mud in these pastures, and he loves to roll in the grass. Horsie heaven, it is.
So I open one of the doors to the trailer (slant load) and thought optimistically that I would try to see if he would load without having to open it all up like usual. Since the peppermint got his attention in the pasture I grabbed another one out of the kitchen. I walked into the trailer with lead rope in hand, peppermint in the other and asked him to step up. He stood and looked at me. I crinkled the cellophane. He stretched as far as he could to sniff at the prize. I stepped further into the trailer. I asked him to step up. And, he did. What?!?! We're loading at the barn, which you never want to leave and you're hopping into the trailer? Okay, I'll take it. He walked over to his corner feeder, and was happy to find some fresh hay, num num num. Off we went.
Hubby came along as my support team. We rode off in one direction, he went hiking off in the other. Both of us with cell phones in hand should one of us need the other.
Before heading out, I did ask him to take a picture of our newest t-shirt, which has become all the rage with the GHS members. It's a simple design, but packing such a powerful message.....
What a gorgeous morning. It was warm, but it hadn't gotten hot yet. Nice breeze, some blue sky and puffy clouds. We didn't see one other horse in the 2.5 hours out there.
G made friends with a black lab, two Rhodesian Ridgebacks, a 2 year old girl and her 6 month old brother. All the kids on the playscape started waving and yelling "horsie, look at the horsie" so I waved back. Horses are such great ambassadors. Who doesn't love a horse? Oh yeah, the hiker that just stepped in the fresh pile of G's manure, lol.
The streams are lower than normal, even with the good rains we got earlier in the month. But, a couple were deep enough in spots so G got wet up to his chest. I think he really enjoyed just standing in them today.
One of the things that I've been really pleased with is the new hair care product we've been using the past few months. I don't use it as often as recommended, so I can only imagine how great it would be if I did. G's mane was always dry, and the crest always had broken hairs. Well, after using Mane-ly Long Mane & Tail Conditioner and Polisher, there are no more broken hairs, his mane is much more silky, less tangled, and the best part is its actually getting longer for the first time in 9 years!
One of the things G was always known for was his desire to go home and stop working. If we turned around on a trail, there was always a discussion on the speed at which we would travel. I would say walk, he would say gait. The argument usually continued for 15 minutes or so. Today, we rode on the yellow trail, which the last time we tried to traverse, couldn't because of the storm damage from October of 2011. I think it was late May or early June. Well, the summer help worked their magic and trail is open again. We got about half way down it when I looked at my phone and realized that we had an hour to get back to the trailer, and we had been out for 1.5 I turned G around AND.....he walked. Slow and relaxed, happy as a clam. Who are you?
When we got back to the trailer, hubby was taking a little snooze in the truck, but wonderful man that he is, had the haybag back on the side of the trailer, the dressing room open and the mounting block positioned just right should I want to use it for the dismount. What a guy!
G was happy to munch on more hay as he cooled and I brushed him down. When he was cooler and took the lead rope and walked him to the single open back door of the trailer, walked in said "step up" and lo and behold, G followed me into the trailer, first time, no stopping, no questioning, arguing, natta! When I came out and shut the door, hubby said "I can't believe he walked in with no discussion". Yep, just hopped right in.
What a good boy. But who are you and what did you do with my horse?!?
I'm not sure if its the new lifestyle he has at the new barn, where he's out when he wants to be, and in when he chooses, or no grain, just wonderful pasture, or is it the small dose of Mag-lite he gets in his 1/2 cup of forage extender? Hard to tell, but at this point, I'm not going to question it further, I'm just going to enjoy this wonderful horse of mine!