Mares Between the Rains

It’s been raining here pretty much since Scrappy and I got home from our not-gone-to plan last ride of the season a week ago. At least 7 inches of rain if not more fell in a matter of days, with gusty winds to match. Because Desire and Rory’s shed is framed right out my double living room/office windows, I was privy to some pretty nifty and effective horse training taking place during the endless rains. Desire is a mild boss mare, expressing herself with marvelously pulled flat-eared snarky dragon faces, the odd squeal, but not much “bite” to back up the bark. She and Rory get along well, Rory harassing her a bit like she was her own foal, grazing together, and egging Desire on to take hill runs with her daily. Still despite the peace Desire wasn’t entirely buying sharing valuable shed space with Rory, at least until endless days of rain rolled in and Rory decided things were going to change. Quietly, doggedly, with gaze averted, Rory would sidle into the shed, Desire would snark, Rory would retreat. And repeat. For hours, maybe even a day. The next day glancing out the window I noticed that Rory was farther in under cover, for longer at a time. And still utilizing the same method when necessary, casual approach, non panicked retreat, repeat, repeat. Sure enough the filly was quietly and determinedly desensitizing Desire to her presence there in the shed, just the way I worked with her and the spray bottle, or Sheza and her raincoats. She was casual and non threatening, and completely persistent to the point that it was more effort for Desire to get mad at her than just accept it. It’s reassuring when you see a horse teaching another horse the way you would! Anyway by the 4th day of downpours and since, I can feed them in out of the rain, side by side in the shed, with no more than some token mare ears. 
Desire, bodaciously muddy at 18 1/2
out for a hoof trim, couldn’t resist hosing her off, not that it lasted
Rory is 14 hands…. at the rump!
OH HAY Scrappy, meet your new Kimberwick

Between storms I mucked the mares’ entryway yesterday and with no effort on my part or influence by the other horses Rory came running to me and wanted scratches. I was thoroughly filly flattered! She has run up to me before but that was with Sheza influence, and in general while quiet she’s been a bit aloof and not entirely connected with me until now.

Hey ! Whatcha doing! 
getting buff at 18 months old
filly cuddles
In today’s break in the storms I pulled Sheza out to change her waterlogged rain sheet (it’s been raining that much) and have a look at her hooves. The deluge of water after 2 winters with next to none have turned the land seriously mucky and I’m on thrush patrol but happily Sheza’s hooves looked *great* and just need a bit of heel taken down, bar clean up, toe roll, and that was that. 
Sheza grown up face! In momma D’s halter

She’s 15 hands at the withers now! And maybe butt high?

 She was great for the long mane detangling/deburring process and shorter hoof trim, even modeling nicely for her liberty photos..and then went totally batty about passing through her gate home politely. When she was a wee thing blasting through gates was a desire of her’s we worked on a lot, as we did today. Quietly, persistently, like Rory moving into the shed, a foot at a time, a breath at a time, over and over until we accomplished what we needed and were peacefully where we wanted. Boy, I truly love horses and what they can teach us.

8 thoughts on “Mares Between the Rains

  1. It was SO COOL and interesting! I don't keep mine all together in a big herd so the multiple animal interactions are usually limited to the mini horse being a jackass to someone, same story different year, lol! Sheza didn't have the self confidence that Rory has to screw with Desire. She screwed with her, but differently. Rory is just very very ballsy in an interesting way. Her brain excites me (when it's not annoying me!)

  2. oh Desire, the mud, and more to come. Maybe it's like an enzyme mud bath, girls' gotta keep looking pretty… But she looks great (for probably a short time!) And great photo of Rory coming to see you, love!

    And the bit, I have to laugh! I just bought the same one. I've been using a snaffle kimberwick but wanted to upgrade to the Myler. I can usually use the less leverage rein position. Good luck!

  3. did you see the storm that is suppse to come in on wednesday? I 'm a bit freaked out. So much mud already :(. WAAAHHHH. Nothing I can do about it I guess. Going to try and get a ride in tomorrow and take a look at hooves agin hopefully. Really bummed about 6 inches of rain in about 2-3 days that's coming up though.

  4. Yes. We got 7″ or more here over 2-3 days last week so I'm interested to see what we get now that they're predicting a “big” storm lol. Think the ponies are going in the barn for this one.. (which usually means the storm ends up nowhere near as bad as they predict)

  5. Lol, it isn't exactly “sit[ing] and observing horse behavior for hours on end,” I work at home doing bookkeeping and accounting and running the office side of my husband's business, but yes the view to the horses it nice.

  6. Still sounds pretty kickass! I'll be working from home a lot in the near future when my office moves an hour away. I've got a window at my office now, but man, I wish it looked out on my horses and not a car dealership! =(

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