Dance Magic

Pilar poses for the camera. My kind of picture, you can't see me on it. (c) 2015 Alvin Gellert.
Pilar poses for the camera. My kind of picture, you can’t see me on it. (c) 2015 Alvin Gellert.

Tonight’s ride on Pilar was magical. After we had a bit of a discussion Tuesday about the new-fangled and bizarre concept of not just turning right whenever she was asked to walk straight ahead or to the left, she amazed me tonight with dancing along energetically and being hyper-observant on my aids.

There ain’t no feeling that compares to sitting on a horse that dances along and responds to the tiniest nudge, sometimes just the thought of a nudge.

She’s beginning to show muscle and she has a lot more energy than a month ago. She certainly has her own ideas about what we should be doing and when, but she is open for discussion. The next step now will be working up a good, rythmic working trot — but trotting with a rider is hard work and she does not yet quite have the muscle and stamina to do so for more than a minute or two in a stretch. We’ll get there, though. I can feel her improvement every day.

Fifty Shades of Neigh

Logan loved kissing. Big, slobbery, wet kisses.
Logan loved kissing. Big, slobbery, wet kisses.

This one’s just for the laughs. Logan loved sucking on his people. He gave big slobbery, wet kisses, and he gave tongue baths like a cat mum to her kittens. I always returned from the barn with my coat soaked and chewed on. And yet, I was never worried that those big teeth might get too close to my nose. He was a careful, gentle old boy.

Wolf! Wolf!

Wolf Attack!

Made this a few weeks back to poke fun at a group of very excited people on Facebook who were certain that now the wolves were going to be coming and they’d be unable to ride out safely anywhere without having to bring a shotgun. I tried to point out to them that there are numerous, very much real far more severe threats to a rider and her horse than wolves, to no avail.

Anyway, the presumed wolf attack turned out to be a feral dog.

Thin vs Undermuscled

Thin versus undermuscled.
Thin versus undermuscled.

Throwing this one up here since I am still working so hard on getting Pilar in shape. She’s a bit of both, although mostly undermuscled, and she is making steady improvements. It’s been interesting to observe, though — and Logan certainly looked like the picture of the thin horse when we acquired him a year and a half ago.

Note the different head positions in the two picture. The thin horse’s posture is tired and indifferent, the neck entirely straight. The undermuscled horse, comparatively, has ears perked up and is carrying his head rather than just let it hang off the end of his neck.

More Horse, Less Rider

Beautiful Pilar.
Beautiful Pilar.

It’s been a little more than a month since Pilar arrived at our barn, but it feels like a year already. We have been so busy!

The black lady informed me politely but firmly that water is icky, yuck, and disgusting at first, but we have now reached a compromise that works for us both: Pilar will stand still while being hosed down if she is being served dinner at the same time. That’s fine by me — and by her, hose, what hose, who’s worried about hoses, tch.

Several baths have helped her skin condition quite a bit, getting rid of old dirt, skin flakes, and other irritants. Coupled with her shot against mange and a healthy dose of Frontline, her skin is looking much better, and the new hair that is growing out to cover the once bald spots is lush and black and silky soft. A generously applied bottle of rapeseed oil helps me keep her tail looking neat and well combed. Somebody ought to have warned me that there is so much finger combing of tails to do with Friesians!

Most efficient hedgerow trimmer south of the North Pole.
Most efficient hedgerow trimmer south of the North Pole. Photo (C) Alvin Gellert.

We still do not work all that much. Pilar is underweight and undermuscled, but she is improving and gaining weight at a steady rate. She fully understands the rein signals now, to a point where she aced zig-zagging down a line between coloured cones on the second attempt yesterday (we don’t always go in the direction that I ask for, but that’s not because she does not understand — that’s because she disagrees). She loves going for small trail walks, more so because the hedgerows are absolutely, fantastically yummy this time of year.

I am absolutely, totally, completely in love with my black pearl. I’ve also lost seven kilos.