Saturday, May 30, 2009

We are family!

CiCi passed the vet check with flying colors. Another conquest, Kendyl is in love with her. I called Jill and have posted the check. I can't believe it! Yippee! Whahooo!

I got to the barn an hour before the usual trail riding time with Rebekah. Want to spend time with CiCi before I tack her up. Brushed her and off to the ring with a saddle pad. Work on Zone 3. A plan! I know that I'm doing LOL. Maybe, hopefully. See what comes up today.

I focused on standing behind the driving line and lift up saddle pad. Yup. CiCi raises her head and takes a step away. Keep doing this until she is standing still. Then I'm standing still, turned away a bit to take the pressure off her and give her time to digest what happened. And she lowers her head and licks and chews. And I have learned that just because she is chewing does not mean I can move on to the next thing. Let her chew. Let her think think think. Give her time. Reflection time. It does not take all that much time for me to be able to lift the saddle pad up on her back on both sides with her remaining calm and still.

She's mine! I'm hers! We are an official family now! Still can't believe it.

When I go to saddle her, quiet with the saddle pad, correction pad, saddle like a hug. Bridle and left halter on and back out to the ring. Now I want to see about the none issue mounting block. She still stands 1 step before and if I ask her to walk forward one step she will do so and then slowly swing her hips away from the block. Hmmm how interesting.

I walk her away and ask for hindend disengagement - circle until she gives me the right eye. Back to the block. Stops 1 step before, I ask for forward she comes up swings hindend away and I walk her forward and more disengagements. It really only takes 3 or 4 repetitions before she stands absolutely perfectly still at the mounting block. I flap the stirrup leathers, make lots of noise, rock her. She is perfectly still. "Is this all you wanted?"

We are family.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 5

The time is beginning to run together. Yesterday was switching the hollow snaffle to a french link and seeing the head tossing stop.

Today I decided to work on CiCi standing at the mounting block. I thought the issue was that she would not stand and then walk off before I got my leg over. I admit I got into a straight line thought process.

I played with her on the ground, I groomed her, I went to put the saddle pad on and up came the head. I was in the outside ring for the duration. So we walked around flapping the saddle pad up an down. And up and down. And she would start back about 4 or 5 feet and then be walking with her head at my shoulder. But when I'd turn and face her and raise the pad up would come the head. So of course right now, as I am writing this, it is making perfect sense based on what I much later realized was the issue. But not at this point in the play session.

I finally was able to put the pad on after lots of rubbing and taking the time. Saddling is not bad, stilling hearing Pat "its like a hug". So I make it like a hug. She didn't have any issues with the bridle. I left the halter on as I didn't want to be leading her around off of the bit just yet.

Girthing was done in pieces, lots of games and up a hole, more games, up another hole. All seems fine. Quiet and focused on me.

I walked her over to the mounting block and she stops 1 step before. I am standing on the block and ask her to walk forward one more step. Nope. So I get down and walk her around in a circle. Play stick to me. Stop at lots of places in the circle, walk behind, around, in front of the mounting block. Stop after it, before it. I even add a couple of plastic jump blocks that I can use as mounting blocks in the circle. I am now doing a step class, as I am walking up on the blocks and down. Thinking maybe its the sound. So lots and lots of up and down, lots of walking the circle, lots of stops. Still no willingness to stop at the "right place" for me to mount.

Now I think maybe I've trained her to be at my shoulder. And when I mount I would be at her middle. So I stop one step ahead of the block and then I walk back one step. She walked back on step with me.

Back to playing games porcupine and driving and backing. Back to circle walking. I glance at my watch and realize we have been at this for about an hour and the light bulb finally, at long last, goes on. ITS NOT ABOUT THE MOUNTING BLOCK!!!! DUH?!?!?!?

Its her Zone 3. So that explains the saddle pad, the spook when I toss the electric tape off the gate (it soars past her Zone 3), the not wanting to stand at the mounting block, my inability to get a good circling game because she keeps me in Zone 1 & 2. Gee golly gosh. LOL!

When I walked her back to her paddock we did some moseying. She was eating grass greedily and I asked for head up and twirled the rope at her hind end. I misjudged the distance and it hit her. Not that hard, but she spooked. And then walked head up to her paddock. When she turned to face me in the paddock she was head up and clearly very worried. Oh my god I have clearly broken our newly forming trust. I hang my head in shame. And take the time to reengage with her before I take her halter off. Lots of scratching and rubbing.

Later when I come back with the muck fork and bucket she is still concerned about me. Breaks my heart, we had come so far so quickly. I wait for her to come to me which she does slowly. I let her sniff me again, give her a treat and she now follows me and supervises my poop removal. When I leave she walks with me to the gate.

Today I learned the pitfalls of straight line thinking. I found out how sensitive CiCi is. I realize I need to give her more thinking/dwell time. Neutral. And I need to focus on Zone 3. Hmmm how interesting.

She is going to teach me soooo much. Hope I am up to her standards.

There is always tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 4

This is from yesterday, Tuesday. I brought just a saddle pad with me to play with Cici. Work on her head raising when the saddle pad is placed on her back. It is so interesting to work and watch this mare. She is very clear when she has an issue. And she is so willing to work with me about the various issues. She is presenting more of herself. Not only focused on me like the first time we played. She looks around. Notice changes. Listens. But all of this is done with her head up and feet still.

Carrot stick is completely acceptable to be raised around her. Slapping the ground - I did some walking away and she quickly was walking with me. I was walking backwards at one point so I could see her reactions and realized that she was following directly behind me. What I mean is that the first time I played with her and walked backwards to watch her she followed me a track to the left so that there was no way she could show her right eye. She walked straight, just a track over. And now she was walking right behind me - giving me both eyes! Hmmm how interesting.

A lot of changes are occurring and fast. And some of them are these kinds of changes that "just seem to happen".

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 3

When I got to the barn today Casey and CiCi were standing together. Yippee!!! Quite a change from her chasing him away.

She looks up when she hears me call her. She greets me at the gate. She is nuzzling me looking for treats. I give her one and also give Casey one. Peace.

I played with CiCi in the indoor. Played stick to me and get in sync with my walking and stopping. Also keeping a respectful distance and not jamming into me. She is amazing in how quick she picks things up. Morning hay was being tossed into paddocks and she could see this. I did plan on riding her so after about 20 minutes I put her back in her paddock. And she and Casey were eating the hay side by side! Another Yippee!!

When Rebekah showed up I got CiCi again and took her into the barn for grooming and tacking up. Had to go slow with raising the saddle pad and putting it on her back. New for me to be aware of what is going on. When I put the saddle on I thought of Pat's comment that is it like a hug. Slowly positioned myself for the wind up and slowly placed it on her back with nary a notice by her. Thanks Pat! The hug was perfect.

I mounted her and before I could bend her she was off walking. Walked her into the outside ring. Told Rebekah had to start here before going out on the trails. I bent her to a stop, took a bit of circling before she understood. She has a faster, shorter stride than I am used to. We walked and walked, and then I followed Rebekah on Patrick to see how she would do. And after a few minutes, I got comfortable with her stride and she was walking quieter and I said lets head out!

CiCi snorts when she has to deal with something new. Her way of expressing herself. As we headed out she is snorting. She was walking up Patrick’s butt. Found out how much she hates contact with the bit. Head goes up and there is head tossing. But not really exaggerated, just annoyed. She pretty quickly settled down, I settled down and the snorting stopped. She was willing to walk over rocks, through mud, over downed trees, and we even threw in some bushwacking. Nothing seemed to phase her.

I have borrowed a western bridle from the sellers, and I put my own rope ones on, so the feel for me was familiar, not those silly leather reins LOL.

She has so many holes in her training. Or lack there of. But she is good hearted and snorting seems to be all she does at new things.

It is clear that the guy who owed her (before he died of natural causes) just tacked her up, got on, and rode with no contact. Let her do what she wanted. She is not mean or malicious, just really clueless. As Linda said, a project. But this project I can do.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Day 2

This morning I knew I would have to deal with dominance issues. Yes we are a herd, but I do need to be able to go to Casey and halter him without CiCi commenting. I was prepared and had to do some specific driving her away. Boy can she be one determined Alpha mare. She didn’t take to my exerting my Alpha over hers lightly LOL. Got head tossing, and a bit of prancing toward and away from me. But she did give us space and I was able to halter Casey and take him out of the paddock for some one-on-one time, which I hadn’t done yesterday.

I took her into the barn for a grooming session with other horses. She looks at everything and you can just about hear her thinking. She is noticed by all the geldings. Patrick was looking as was Georgie.

We then went for a walk out on the trails, hand walking, and she was not disturbed or bothered by anything. Through the underbrush, over rocks, over trees, between narrow spaces. We were following for a while and then Rebekah and Vivian said go up ahead and see how she is leading. Not a problem.

She does not have very good ground manners about being lead in the woods. Doesn’t share the narrow trails well with me or yield when walking by trees, but that is something I can easily work with. I am just so used to Jeeps, who followed behind me. But then again I had done a lot of ground work with her for her to be able to do that.

As CiCi is settling in I am seeing more of her personality emerging. She is a spirited soul. When I put her back in her paddock, she trots (floating trot) around to reestablish her domain.

I’ve also noticed in the day and a half that Casey is not running away when she goes after him, he just gets out of the way. Of course I want them eating their hay side by side. But I'll just have to practice patience.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Went to pick up CiCi this morning. She loaded with no problems. My friend Rebekah, who I trail ride with, and had taken her trailer to pick up CiCi was amazed and delighted and said, We’re keeping her! LOL. CiCi unloaded, looked around and when I walked her to some grass she dropped her head and ate. Everyone, since of course all my friends were around to check out the “new horse” were amazed at her attitude.

I took her to her paddock, causing quite a stir with the other horses. Casey, the mini, greeted her with a squeal, then spun to kick her, and she arched her neck and went to kick him. I was at this point thinking that maybe I should have gotten a major medical policy on him! He took off, she took off after him.

She had her neck arched, back up, and was moving in a floating trot – gorgeous! I had not seen this side of her. What a mover. She chased him! He took off. Several skirmishes ensured. He didn’t challenge her again. They have a truce, he is standing away from her and she is queen of the paddock. He is wondering what happened. He is no longer king.

She is just standing in the paddock like she has always been there. Settled right in. After letting Casey know who is the boss. Again everyone commented.

At hay time we put out two piles. She just dove into the hay. And I had to move Casey’s to the opposite side of the paddock before he would eat. A little later she was at his pile and he was standing aside as she ate. He is very round, so I am not worried that he is not eating.

I am actually reassured by her behavior. I didn’t want him to be the aggressor and dominating her. When he first met my mare Jeepers, she was with three other mares in a larger paddock. He took one look at the mare herd and thought, MINE! And he immediately has the four full sized horses running around while he played stallion.

Jeeps put up with this for only so long before she turned on him and had him standing in the corner while the mares ate. Only after they were done did she let him eat. And they became best friends. So hopefully he and CiCi will be eating side by side before too long.

I did play with her for a little while. Can tell even though on the outside she looks settled in, she was a little distracted at first. But then she focused and was quiet while I did the friendly game with savvy string over her back. The first time I tried this on what Monday? she would flinch and but not move her feet. Now she is fine. She even offered her right eye pretty quickly. Found nice driving game. Very light. Backing up, away from me is a bit sticky. So will work on that. But for today just wanted to check and see how she was doing.

Rob suggested we stop by the barn on the way to dinner, it is our Anniversary. Boy what an Anniversary present! So he could meet CiCi. I went to the paddock, and of course she greeted me. Casey is on the opposite fenceline with Seamus and Cruise. He looks so sad. And when I go to say hi to him, after saying hi to CiCi she walked with me. And when we get closer to Casey she pins her ears and her head goes down and I interrupt her. No he is part of the family also.

She is clearly establishing her dominance, and in her world I am part of her herd. I will have to stay aware of this and work on it tomorrow so that I can be able to go to Casey and halter him without her driving him away. I was dressed for a dinner out, not horse play so I didn't do much more. But tomorrow! More challenges!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fast Learner

I went back to Raynham to play with CB again. I wanted to see what she retained from Sunday's play session. A lot! Stood facing her at the end of the 12 foot line and waved the carrot stick up and down. She walked up to me. Porcupined hind end and front on the left - she was light light light. And it only took maybe 5 minutes before she presented her right eye. Not completely comfortable, but she did offer. So I did a lot of scratching. And she did lateral flexion to do a bit of mutual grooming on me. And she even backed several steps from the just lightest suggestion.

Today CB spent a lot of time chewing. And standing with head lowered. Jaw is loosening. At one point I crouched down because I wanted to take all pressure off of her and she lowered her head to me. Amazing.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Candace Bergen

I was at the barn this morning. Took Casey for a trail walk with Rebekah and Vivian mounted, me and Casey and Nancy and Dane walking. I told Casey I was looking for a new girl friend and I was going to visit one the color of the sun.

I then went back to Raynham and spent around an hour in the round pen with CB. When I got there I had a bunch of stuff that I took to the round pen. I glanced at her paddock and she was in the shed. Not even a head sticking out. So I did my thing. Put down the tarp. There was a little kid lesson in the BIG ring so I got some poles to put on the tarp so it won’t blow around and startle the pony with the kid. I also got the pink saddle pad because I noticed CB had reacted to it when Jill put it on yesterday.

When I had everything set I turned to the paddock and CB was standing at the gate waiting, having clearly been watching me.

I felt I would just check out a bunch of stuff. Do a mini assessment. Take the time it took. She wasn’t happy with the swinging carrot stick, so I walked ahead of her and played out the 12 foot line. I was holding onto the leather poppers before she would even consider following. I had left the 22 ft in the car, but I bet she would have been at the end of that! But again, she never did anything, just hung back. I kept thinking "take the time it takes".

Porcupine back up took a very short time for her to shift weight. And then take a step back. Guess I kind of use Casey as my measure. This was nothing like the first time with him. Where as a LB extreme E he put his head down, stared me in the eyes and said go ahead and make me move!

Once she understood release to pressure, head down was smooth and quiet. Lateral flexion – to say we walked in circles doesn’t even begin to cover it LOL.

Very soft and light on the left with disengagement both porcupine and driving. But would not give me her right eye, let alone right side. So I worked quietly with her, doing things, walking and changing direction, asking for her to lower her head, turn, back up, disengagement. It was all very very fascinating to me to note and observe.

Jill asked how things were going and what my thoughts were. I told her that the right side thing was intriguing. Jill said she would just do everything from the right. I said I would but she would not let me get on her right. Jill asked why I just didn’t go there. I said I was waiting for CB to give me permission. WHICH she did about 40 minutes into the play session! And then there was this release and she put her head down!!!! And chewed and chewed. And took a few steps with her head lowered and relaxed.

I took her pink saddle pad and lifted it up to put on her. Head up and step away. I have the lead rope draped over my arm, she is not tied to anything, unlike yesterday in the barn. Hmmm how interesting. So walked away flapping pad. Now here is an interesting note. I had done this flapping with the carrot stick and she ultimately accepted it. Or began to accept it. With saddle pad we are back to the beginning. Walked an flapped until my arms were falling off. Stopped walking and she did walk up to me. Then I did silly things with saddle pad - started rubbing her legs and her hips and her belly. Rubbed her sides up and down with the saddle pad. I can feel her thinking You are nuts! I told her lots of horses have told me that. LOL. But she started to relax and accepted the saddle pad on her back - both sides!!!!

This mare is holding a lot of stuff inside her. I don’t think we are talking exploding stuff, but I see the potential for a BIG change at some point. And it is going to come from unlocking her right side. Totally mind blowing stuff for me. And totally freaking me out that I can see the potential for change in CB.

First Ride

Linda accompanies me for a return visit and first ride. Saw Candace first on Friday. It's now Saturday. I realize I am focused on her mind and personality, size, general appearance but if you asked me about her legs and feet - well I could tell you she had them, but not even how she moved. That why Linda's with me. Objective assessment.

Jill tacks her up, note head raising at saddle pad, and step away. I am surprised that I even notice it. Also thinking Jill is not acknowledging it. Is that the if it I ignore it it will go away? Or if I ignore it they won't notice?

She rides her first. Candace is clearly out of shape. And she does not like contact with the bit. So her head is up and out and back is hollow. But she willingly picks up the trot and later the left lead canter, right is a struggle.

Now its my turn. That morning I rode Georgie. Vivian kept saying I was going to have to deal with his double reins, and that I would have to use both and maintain contact otherwise, otherwise, I'm not sure what the otherwise was. Georgie was fine. And now I am riding Candace with a bridle - bit and reins also. Twice in one day. And the last time I rode a horse with a bit was when?!?!? Maybe two years LOL.

After the last year with Jeeps - well Candace feels all wiggly! There is movement. Feel everything. Oh she is not supple but she is young. And these muscles, even out of shape muscles, feel oh so different. We just walk around while I try and relax and get comfortable with what I am feeling under me. I finally ask for trot and after a bit get one she will maintain and one that I feel I can relax and ride. Shorter stride for sure. But then again it has been quite some time since I've ridden a trotting horse in a ring.

Look I'm trotting! Looking I'm holding reins! Hmm how interesting


Answered a Horse for Sale ad for a Palomino, mare, 12 years old, 14.1 hands, quiet trail horse. First time ever looking for a horse. Jeepers "just appeared" at the barn, Casey well I guess you could say he "just appeared" also. But now I'm thinking about what I want. What is important? What are the criteria? Know nothing bigger than say 15.2. But I remember I have always thought a 14 hand pony would be perfect. Like to stay under 12 years old. Not too old, not too young, hey wait a moment is this all about Goldilocks and the Three bears?

Okay size and age. Color? Breed? Temperament? That one is easy left brain introvert. Quiet. Dependable. A bit of go would be nice. But not too much. Thinking mare, but that is not a deal breaker.

Candace was at the gate very interested in sniffing me. Curiosity that's good. She knows she is for sale and checking prospects out I guess. She had gone out with someone else and was returned. I halter her (rope halter) and lead her to the large round pen to play. She is focused on me. Attentive. Quiet. Soft. Quickly connects and plays stick to me with no problem. Does not give me her right eye. Or right side for that matter. Clearly has not had very much of anything done on the right. Hmmm how interesting.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ode to Jeepers

Jeepers has passed on to greener pastures. I promised her that she would be going to a place where she would be black, shiny, and fat. She would be able to stand in fields of grass up to her belly. And that she would be able to eat all the grass she wanted, all day long….without my looking at my watch and saying enough.

I had to make the decision of when. She’s been ready, just waiting for me to be ready. We’ve been together for 12 years. We both started off scared and a little spooky. We gained trust and confidence together. It’s been a fantastic journey.

We started out at a barn with a group of friends. We rode “dressage”. When I asked her to work a bit harder she would always, always check with me to make sure I understood what I was asking. Did I really want this? Really want her to engage her hind end? Really want that leg yield? Really want her work?!?!?!

I used to part lease her to help pay her bills. One of the people I leased her to was a beginner. A real beginner. When I rode Jeepers the day after Rowan rode her I’d have to remind Jeeps that this was me riding and she could walk bigger, trot bigger, hey maybe even canter. Later I part leased her to Cindy for lessons. Mostly kids. I’d often saddle her up and walk into the ring and then tighten the girth. When I was tightening from the left Jeeps would turn her head to her right side and snap her teeth. When I was tightening from the right she would turn her head to the left and snap her teeth. Cindy told me that she did not do this with any of the kids who tacked her up. Jeepers was just fine expressing herself to me.

One day she was in a grooming stall. I was just reaching under to get the girth and she was turning her head away to snap. Two of the young girls who regularly rode her were walking down the isle. She saw them coming and turned her teeth baring snap into a smile as they walked past!

After a few years of riding in rings, in lessons, I realized there had to be more. I wanted more of a relationship, better communication, more confidence. I had a dream and wanted to continue towards it. I heard about Parelli Natural Horsemanship. And began a new journey. I spent the next three months only doing groundwork. No riding. Then I started riding Jeepers in just a rope halter. The moment I stopped with the bridle and bit she was more responsive, lighter, happier. Once I was asking her for bend and engagement. Working on a circle. A friend watching yelled to me, “You have her on the bit.” I responded, “I don’t have a bit!”

The last several years I’ve been trail riding her with just that rope halter, and my dressage saddle. Even trailering to local places for long walks in the woods. This was a BIG deal for me. But she handled it fine. And made it possible for me enjoy. I would think each time we were out, “My God, I am now one of ‘those’ people.” People I have seen through the years riding their horses in the woods. Not only was I riding with just a rope halter, but with the rope reins hanging down loose. I would laugh to myself as I rode with one hand on the rope and the other hanging down by my side. Confident and unafraid. Because my horse had become confident and unafraid.

Jeepers loved the trails and the woods. And has left me with many wonderful memories. She had a fantastic big swinging walk. I never experienced this in a ring. She could out walk anyone on the trail, no matter their size. She would walk over anything. Bushwack with the best of them. Straddle logs on the trail. Walk over branches and tree limbs and trees that had fallen across the trail. And never, ever would she willingly walk over a ground pole in a ring!

I told her that she had turned into a great trail horse. And she told me I had learned to relax! When we first went out on the trails I used chant to myself, swing swing breathe breathe swing swing breathe breathe. On one of our very early trail experiences, the horse we were riding with was freaking out. Prancing, leaping in the air, rushing. I was asked if Jeeps could lead. I was thinking she can but can I? She made it clear to me that she would take care of us, all I had to do was continue with my breathe breathe swing swing and leave the rest to her. She lead us all back to the barn quietly and steadily.

We have seen fisher cats climbing trees, black snakes, come across deer and more deer, and once a fawn was standing right in the middle of the trail. Jeeps never took a misstep, never spooked, stayed calm and focused. I was riding with my friend Vivian and we were chatting away. I heard Vivian say, “Up ahead to the side of the trail is a large bird feeding on the ground. We will probably startle it as we get closer.” I thought okay I can deal with this since I know its there. Vivian and Georgie walked a few more steps, a red tailed hawk exploded from the side of the trail and flew off. Georgie spooked and Vivian wheeled him around. Jeeps and I just watched the hawk. She never even moved. I thanked Vivian for the heads up. “What are you talking about? I never saw the bird, the last thing I said was where was the next green dot trail marker?”

She carried me through woods, up and down hills, over wooden bridges, through mud, still water, streams and rock walls. We walked on deer paths, wide groomed trails and everything in between.

She never let me down. Always took care of me. I tried to mother her, but she out mothered me. We have been through a lot together. I know I’ve made the right decision. Its over, done quietly and peacefully. Before she left she told me she would see her foal again, who apparently died very young. Jeepers had searched for her in this world endlessly. About a year and a half ago, she fell in love with a black mini, Casey, who is now part of my family. She considered him her foal. She is now with her own true foal. Live in Peace Mama.

8 May 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Broken Trust

I had schedule the Natural Balance Dentist, Krystin Dennis to come and check Jeeps and do Casey. I don't know how long it has been for him, and I've noticed his jaw motion is just to the left. I also knew he would have to be sedated so I also schedule Kendyl.

I've been practicing poking him in the neck for months now. I sit on the rock in his paddock and put his halter on. I then quietly bend his head toward me and first pat then poke then pinch his neck. He has gotten soft and absolutely fine with this. I am so excited to show Kendyl what an angel he can be.

Well Krystin arrives, then Kendyl. Casey takes one look at Kendyl and all the softness is gone. Back to that old hard eye. I told her about what I've been doing and she is willing to sit on the rock and see how he does. He does up! She just touches his halter and he goes up. I am so dissapointed. She assures me that she believes me about all the work I've done. Its just a matter of Love/Hate. She loves him, he hates her!

But she does take the time to sit with him and stroke his neck. I show her his most favorite spot to scratch, armpits and after a little while, while still sitting she quickly gives him the shot to sedate him. He only goes up off the ground in front a few inches.

Now we wait. His head starts to droop and he is a bit unsteady on his feet. Krystin puts on knee pads and positions her tools and herself in front of Casey. She winds up sitting down on the ground and puts her knees up so that she can place Casey's head on them to work. Kendyl reaches over to help put on the speculum and Casey is awake! So she gives him a second shot - now he has received the sedation of a full sized horse.

At one point I noticed that he was standing with one hind leg cocked and crossed over the other. I was worried that he might fall over, so I gently reached under to just place the relaxed leg squarely underneath. Well this horse drugged mini kicked at me as soon as I touched that leg.

Krystin works slowly and carefully. It takes about an hour before she is finished. At any point during that time if Kendyl came close, Case lifted his head. And when all was done he looked over his shoulder to make sure that Kendyl had really and truly left the paddock!

The next day I could not approach him with the halter. He would have nothing to do with it. So I put it away and just sat with him. He would come to me as long as the halter was not around.

Its now three days since the dentist and Casey is still leery of the halter. "You put that thing on me and then bring in evil people". He will still come to me. And stand and let me groom and scratch him. But pick up the halter and he stays just out of reach. Does not run away. Just not within touching range. When I stand in front of him with the halter, he backs up. Hmmm, how interesting. Quiet, straight back LOL. At the side with the halter, nice disengagement of hind end. At the side of his head, moves forehand.

So the trust we had is not completely broken, maybe cracked a bit. I'll just take the time it takes. No need to rush. Since he is not not avoiding me I know we will work through this.

Hay God

There was a hay delivery today. The huge tractor trailer truck parked by the side of the barn with the mechanical conveyor belt up to the loft. They were almost done when I got there. I was inside the barn, gathering up all the stuff I take to the paddock. All of a sudden there is a noise and down the ladder comes a bald, medium height, round man. Oh my god - the HAY GOD! Not exactly what I had ever envisioned for a God, but he lived up to the billing.

I mentioned that I had always talked to Jeepers about the Hay Fairy bringing her hay. But I hadn't thought about a Hay God. He quickly informed me that while he might be cheerful he was not gay LOL. He was the Hay GOD!!!

As he was getting ready to leave, I asked him if he could come and meet my mare. That she would surely appreciate the opportunity to tell him how much she enjoys his hay. He started to the paddock, but when I pointed out her at the far paddock, he reconsidered. He reached down and took a handful of hay. He blessed it - doing a cross over it. Apparently someone mentioned my faith, so he added Shalom. And assured me that he too was Jewish. Wow! Hay God is Jewish!