Fitting Together

The rain came on Monday as well as Tuesday.  The horses were spotted most of the day eating and hanging out in the shelter.  Probably Reason’s idea I’m sure.  He is not a fan of the rain.  Errika however would much rather be getting soaking, sopping wet, if it meant to graze and meander through the pasture, only occasionally stopping and positioning to protect herself from a sudden gust of windy rain.

Reason is enjoying the elements without a blanket for now.  I really get more concerned if there is a chance that the sun comes out and shines between the storm and heats up a horse under a blanket, than if the horse must weather some rain.  And it seems that Reason knows where he’d like to be during a storm and that is tucked under his shelter.  It’s actually pretty interesting watching Reason handle more of being a natural horse.  He’s a bit concerned at times, especially when he’s out in the rain and it’s dropping on him.  It must be a weird feeling considering his dislike for a single fly disturbing him in the summer.  Though, he seems so happy.

Reason on Monday

On Monday as it rained and I prepared for feeding time, Reason was having a ball.  He was trotting everywhere like he was dancing.  A passage here, oh maybe a little piaffe here, lovely extended trot there, it was quite a show.  Thankfully the dancing was kept to a trot, except for when Errika did her usual casual, “I’m going to trot off to mess with the young guy and humans,” and left Reason to go wander off to the other side of the pasture.  Reason went to catch up with her and threw some good bucks before making it to her side.  Oh Errika you do not need to do that.  She is such a little trickster.

On Tuesday Reason proceeded again with showing off his fancy side.  This time Errika saved her antics and there were no moments of scaring their mom in an attempted flee across the pasture.  Reason was also a little more experienced and understanding of the rain and I decided that a lunge in it was appropriate.  The ground was perfect, just soft enough atop the old grass, but not muddy or slick.  At first Reason was gently surging forward on the lunge and insisting that a canter was the only gait to work in.  I let him canter because I’m not going to discourage any forward movement on his terms right now, but at the same time he had to do it within my limits.  There is to be no pulling of course, we must work where I choose.  Reason stuck to his good manners on the line and once I thought it was the right time, I asked for a down-ward transition to a trot and eventually a walk.  We did walk to trot transitions when we were parallel from the gate and where Errika was standing, as he wanted to speed up there, and then trot to walk transitions as we were heading directly towards the gate.  This seemed to get Reason’s mind more in the game and also understand that under my direction I would be determining the pace now.

Reason was doing pretty well and so I moved on to try something else.  I walked him to the back side of the pasture, out of eye-shot from where Errika was and had him walk on the lunge there.  I want to get him more comfortable without Errika’s presence.  He needs to be confident in himself and also me, that we don’t need Errika as a crutch or comfort when it’s time to work.  He’s attached to her quite well.  I’ve ridden him out of eye-shot, but for short durations and I always ride him back towards where she is so he knows nothing is going to happen and she’s not leaving.  I want him to be more comfortable and trusting of me.  But I have yet to be initiated as that role in his life or in his herd for that matter.  So by small bits at a time, hopefully I can help in changing that.  Reason did great on the lunge at the other side of the pasture.  At times he would try to cut in on the circle as he would be going in the direction of where Errika was, but never did anything else.  After a little bit of trotting thrown in there, I called it a day.  I was very pleased with the results.  Before I was done I wanted to give Reason a nice facial massage.

At first Reason kept his head in the more alert position, waiting, though ever so patiently, for when we were going to walk back.  Once I began rubbing his face he began to relax.  His head slowly began to lower.  I felt this was a great step.  He was showing his comfort and trust in me…  I began to massage and slide my hands over his eyes and you could see the change in expression.  He was off alert so much and just enjoying himself.  I spent a good while standing with him there.  The rain bounced off my ball-cap and made a soft, relaxing sound as it hit the dry grass.  It was quiet and truly a really nice moment.

On Wednesday evening I lunged Reason again, hoping that this time I would be able to take a ride.  He was good on the lunge.  So I quickly tacked up and hopped on.  The sun was setting fast.  I walked and trotted Reason around in the center of the field.  The sun had set and the moon shined through the clear, starry sky.  It was a good feeling to ride Reason under the nights dark blanket, on the buckle.  Everything was relaxing.  Now to have gone from what was happening a couple months ago, to this, is very very happy to see and feel.  These moments are very important and special.


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