Saddle up....Reading through blogs of my "horse friends" really gave me that familiar itch to ride and work with my horses again. Boy have I missed it. Just when I got back in the saddle, I had to slip back off, what a disappointment. But I had a few good days to be able to ride some and those were some awesome days to feel the earth beneath horse-hoof and hear the squeak of leather, and breath of your horse in the stillness of nature for a couple hours. Really does wonders for your soul. As I told you I'd update you on everyone, it sure would be such a long post if I did it all at once I'd surely bore you too death with all the reading so here is some horsey goodness. I realized I didnt put any pictures of my sweet Molly and Buck on here tho! Shame on me....I'll just have to give them their own post, which is fitting since the farrier is coming in a week to give them both a trimming! Little Jack is not so little anymore. Jack-a-bo...aka "Jack" is now 2 years old. You wouldnt believe the progress our "baby" has made. Its going to be hard not to call him a baby. He has the body of a big boy...yet the mentality of a toddler. He has been such a joy to watch grow and I'd do it again if I had the chance! I have loved every single minute watching the changes he has made! Hard to believe how fast he has grown! We started him from day one if you recall, on as much as we could, as consistently as we could. Picking up his feet, grooming, desensitizing, etc. What a special horse, this boy has learned what we have showed him the first time and hasnt forgotten it. Which therein can lay a problem...almost too smart...he learns us faster than we can learn him! All of you with horses know what I'm talking about! If I was as smart as Jack I would have started teaching him tricks from the start such as the one below:
Yes..you are seeing that correctly...he is bringing me his halter! But ya know..I really hate winter and cold weather and the lesson stopped, but I figure as smart as he is, we can pick up on that one now that its getting warmer out again! Gypsy and Jack are great pals now that Jack doesnt need King for protector so much anymore. King was "momma" until the last 5 or 6 months and Jack has begun to come into his own with his confidence and now is establishing his order in rank and has separated himself a tad from King. BUT I still see the need for reassurance when something scares Jack or he sees something he doesnt know what it is....too cute. He wants to be all grown up...but its a front! He still needs the "big man" to protect him after all!
Jack has taken to the bit, and saddle, trailer loading, lounging, and carrying a rider quite well!!!!! What a horse he will make! Just gotta learn what go means! And what gears are what! :-)
I've been so proud of Leah, this is the first horse she has started..and she has done such an exceptional job...I cant tell you the amount of respect and trust she has established between herself and Jack...he KNOWS she is his herd leader, and he listens! In fact....he knows that we all are above him in rank, she has done the job well! Oh dont get me wrong, he has tried us a few times, but its only taken him a few times to correct the problem, but we do stay on top of him.
Here she is after lounging, waited for the inner ear twitch....used her body language to tell him to stop, turn to her, approach her, and then to come and wait for him to touch her...sign of respect and submission on his part....way to go Leah....I'm a proud Mom! Proud of both of them beyond words!
There he is ^ Jack in his "outfit" all saddled up and looking dandy! Lets look back and take a small walk to a year ago when we first started this little guy under the saddle....you'll get to see how he has grown! Here below was his first time putting on that saddle!
Dont know if you can tell, but the saddle fits so much better now, and its a big saddle so he still has more growing to do, but he's getting there! He is gonna be a big boy when said and done!
When I hug him now...which I should get a picture of...he is MUCH taller than me, we no longer meet eye to eye like this picture!
This was taken about 6 months ago right about the time I quit blogging...Doug was riding then even! We had a really nice day giving the horses some exercise, boy did they need it! Leah had been working with King, who needs some muscle build up, working him some patterns and getting him better with his balance. I love this next picture!
Here are the boys, this was early last summer, Jack was still clinging to Kings side matching step for step! He looks like such a baby! He has gotten so big! I cant believe it!
My boy King! I love my guy! King is such a good trail horse, doesnt matter that he is blind in one eye...you'd never know it!
Here is my girl Gypsy, had a good day, determined not to let my bad days take over, which it seemed to be doing at the time and I had people wanting to ride. *sigh* My balance on my own feet was bad, the motion of climbing on a horse made me so dizzy - not to mention the movement of riding on one was worse than walking and I didnt know how I was gonna do it, but watching them was killing me as I stood on the ground watching. I figured since Gypsy was the smoothest being a walking horse I was getting up there on her back! Ok, wasnt in a saddle....and shocked my daughter when she saw I was riding bareback, which required more balance than without and more balance than I had at the time to even ride! I guess when you want something bad enough, you tough it out, even if it is just a few rounds in a pen on your favorite horse and you know your gonna pay for it later....sometimes thats how it is with life...you gotta take the chance...tough it just for that moment of heaven you know your gonna get, even if you gotta pay for it later. And I did..it got me down, but those dizzy rounds on my horse, was one of the best moments on her back! Hey, I had a mane to hold on to and she dont mind that I about squeezed the breathe out of her, she was already worn out from everyone else riding, she wasnt gonna go any faster! Funny also how a horse is in tune with its rider, and friend. She knew what was up..when I'd walk her, shed stop before she knew myself I was gonna get vertigo....or when she knew she'd have to have me hold on to her....she is something special....she is aloof, but...she is in tune with me all the same...such a strange relationship we have. I've gotten through to my horse King, torn down walls built by years of neglect and who knows what he had gone through....definitely not kindness and love, and turned him into a horse that is happy, loving, and curious. A happy horse for sure. Gypsy....I dont know what happened in the 4 years since I had to sell her...she changed and too closed herself off....I thought she would open right up, yeah, she recognized me and King both, the kids too, but there is a wall built too, she is my project. If you know me...you know I'm a fighter with my animals, and I dont loose...not without giving it my all...I just dont give up. This will be a fun challenge. So my title today...Saddle up.....what am I waiting for? Well winter is over, cold is leaving...my health is restored for the most part. My days are more good than bad (Thank God all praise to him), and though my doctor told me that its something that will come and go and I'll learn to live with it, I'll do just that - learn to live with it, and hey.....you tough through, grit your teeth for just that one moment of heaven, even if you have to pay for it later, right? I've been through worse...I miss my horses. The smell of sweat, leather, feed. The sound of their breath and squeak of leather and hoof on the earth. I miss my walks with God as he is with us along for the ride. That fire was lit today.....wait.....it was never out!
So until the next ride..which will be soon, and update as Gypsy's progress goes this summer, and however long it takes....like I said...I dont give up and I wont on my girl, not on her, never. Not on someone who got me through the most difficult time in my life 6 years ago. See you from the saddle soon!