Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Horses have the biggest hearts.

California is burning.
We haven't seen a blue sky in days. There are warning out to stay inside and not breathe the smoky air if possible. I thought about the horses who couldn't go inside though, and I couldn't stay in and not give Solomon loves when I didn't go yesterday.
Yesterday I had only gotten 2 hours of sleep and it was a high pain day so I could barely walk. I really missed Solomon. I'm pretty much doomed at this point, heh.
Today it was hard to walk but possible. I went out to the barn with some apples. Solomon was wolfing down senior feed when I got there. He's gotten bigger since the day before yesterday. I think that very soon he will be up to weight. He's also even more filthy than he was yesterday. Nature abhors a vacuum and a pristine white coat.
The BO's daughter gave me a hug and a chair so I could sit with Sol-Sol while he ate. He got an apple and then we shared a second one. After he finished he looked up at me and said "thank you so much for the food, I feel a lot better now! But, but- I'm BOOORED! Can we please go for a walk?"
'Course he didn't say this Mr. Ed style, but I swear to you that's what he was telling me in his own horsey way. We're really getting to understand each other these days. The only bad behavior he had was whacking me in the breast once with his nose, and I used the "2 seconds of big and scary" method on him. It seemed to work really well- I think he's learned that, while massive and squishy, my breasts are not his own personal Happy Fun Time Bags. :p
So. Solomon really wanted to take a walk. He has a lot more energy these days, and it's very heartening to see him actively WANT to get out of his stall and do things.
I was hurting pretty badly though.
I put on his lead line and he came out of his stall nice and slow. I knew if we were going to walk I was going to have to ask him to do something weird, and I wasn't sure if I could make him understand or if he would want to do it.
Normally when leading a horse you want to be in front of them with a good amount of personal space, from what I have seen and read. You want to firmly establish that you are the one in charge and leading, and you don't want to get stepped on or run over if they spook.
Today we had to do things a little differently. Today I needed help. Solomon could tell, I think, that I was hurting. Maybe not, maybe I'm being overly fluffy, but he whuffled at me a lot and was extra gentle. I had to lean on him a little bit and put my hand on his back for support. I tried to spread out the extra weight a little bit, not that I was pressing hard, but still, his topline is still a little bony and he doesn't have a lot of muscle there either. I put my arm over him right behind the withers, where a saddle sits. He held completely still until I asked him to walk.
And so we walked together. Solomon was so calm and relaxed. He was so attentive. We went all around the stables, slowly and gently. All I needed to do was lightly touch one or the other side of his neck and he would turn for me. We stopped and took breaks, and he was fine. I couldn't have gone so far without him. I felt a little overcome with love and gratitude. There have been some hard things going on lately. When we finished walking, he turned his face around and let me rest my head on his cheek. I buried my face in his mane and we just stood like that.

I almost wanted to cry. How could anyone torture and abuse such a wonderful, gentle being?

Today, Solomon was my hero.

After we finished our walk, I dragged over a chair and told him, "I know it's weird to have this big scary plastic chair here, and I'm sorry Sol-Sol, but I can't squat to pick your hooves today, so I'm going to have to sit down and do it. Can we do this?" 'Course he couldn't understand me, but happily he looked unconcerned.
So I sat in the chair and I got him to pick up all four of his hooves. They usually have wet bedding in them, which worries me a bit- I think it'd probably be better for his feet to stay dry. He picked up a lot of rocks while we were walking around, too. I'm still learning the art of hoof picking, but he was patient as always. I have to use my fingernails to get some of those suckers out, and it doesn't really bother me. Manure schmanure, it just isn't really gross to me. The stuff's mostly hay anyway.
I'll always check out his hooves when we go out. Solomon takes care of me and I take care of him.

I wish that I had the money and the land to take him home and make him mine. He deserves a big pasture with long, green grass and room to run and be a horse.

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