This week Col and Little Love have managed to entertain themselves in various interesting ways... the other day Becky was working in her office when she heard a loud noise coming from the garage. She came through the kitchen and as she was walking towards the back door, she heard the unmistakable sound of hooves walking across concrete. What the heck? She opened the door to the garage, and there was Col, standing with his butt against her husband's car and his head in the feed room. Little Love was with him, squeezed into the tiny feed room (who ever said she had claustrophobia?). They were half way through the 10 kg bag of carrots and the box of apples we had bought two days earlier. Apparently Becky had left the door open for them, so they could enter into the barn during the day if they wanted to. They had taken the opportunity to do that and had noticed that Becky had forgotten to secure the gate between the barn and the feed room. Oops!
Today the two put on a different show. At noon Becky went into the field to move the horses from the grass pasture to the smaller, fenced in area. The horses were on the very far side of the enormous pasture and when they saw her, they started cantering towards her. She was holding a carrot in each had, hoping they would stop to get the treat. Yeah, right! Both horses cantered past her to the other end of the pasture, turned around and cantered back, passing her on both sides. Then they did it again, kicking their heels up on their way (mainly Col, apparently Little Love refrained from bucking but did lots of head tossing) After a few runs back and forth, they turned the corner into the fenced area. They trotted up to the barn with their tails up in the air. Which is when they realized that the gardener had left the back gate open. Oh no! Both horses cantered into the parking lot. Becky ran after them, only to witness them doing Spanish ridingschool moves in the yard (tore up the grass...), then turning on their heels and running into the pasture on the other side of the property, the one that is split into two smaller pastures and which they occupied when we first moved there. It's a good thing this property is completely fenced!
Becky was pretty relaxed about what had happened, she thought it was funny (I'm not sure how funny it was at the time when it was happening...). I'm happy Little Love is getting to do some horsing around, she has always been contained in so many ways, she needs to feel a little bit of freedom. Wish I could give her more! Although, I know it is Col who is instigating all this activity, but perhaps it is helpful for her to see another horse think outside the box a bit.
Later this afternoon Becky and I went for a walk. I had Little Love in the halter (no saddle) and Becky was riding Col as usual. When we arrived at this really big field, Becky decided she wanted to canter. She said Col would be alright if we went our separate ways. I wasn't so sure about Little Love and for a split second all sorts of scenarios crossed my mind (she'll drag me down the field; she'll freak out, rear and drag me down the field; she'll freak out, rear, drag me down the field and get loose in the process...). But, I listened to my gut feeling, and it told me to give it a try. I did my best to dismiss all negative thoughts and think positively. So what if she had taken off after other horses in her previous life and hauled people home from miles away? So what if she had jumped fences and fallen over trying to get to other horses? That all happened in another life time.
Becky took off down the field. At first Little Love didn't react in any way, she merely grazed on some grass. Then, when I asked her to start walking, she lifted her head and truly realized how far away Col was. She called out to him frantically and trotted around me. It took all my self-control to stay calm and in the moment. I started walking up the road and she followed, but tried to look at where Col had gone, spinning to the left and almost stepping on me. I kept walking. She started jogging and then screamed after Col so loud I temporarily lost all hearing in my right ear. I decided to do the one thing that seems to always work i.e. run. So, we ran up the hill. Once we are at the top, I slowed down to a walk. Little Love was a still nervous, but she accepted the pace. I told her we'd go home and Col would follow; she would be alright. She sighed and I gave her a piece of carrot, to tell her I appreciated her attitude and was proud of her braveness. She took it and ate it, which was a good thing, as it told me she was now starting to relax. So, we walked home together. Amazing. This would never have worked a year ago. In fact, I would never have even attempted something like this a year ago. We have come a long way.