We had a very magical moment on the farm recently! Junebug had a solo ride with Ro! What a wonderful moment for all involved! June was so proud of herself, as she should be, because she had to be incredibly brave and she had to remember everything she had learned. She had to convince Ro that she was confident and capable enough to be in charge on her own. It’s hard to convince any horse of your skills when you’re just learning, but especially a mare. Especially a full sized mare when you’re just a bit of a thing riding in buddy stirrups. And especially when you’re a little nervous because your big cousin has always been there to catch you and now she’s half way across the arena (I’d have made tracks though, and I still had the lead rope in hand, just in case). Plus there’s just a lot of moving parts to riding and even when you have been riding for a long while, it can be easy to let the frustration bubble up if you miss a cue or can’t achieve what you hoped. Sometimes it feels almost like ballet or something, a constant practice towards unattainable perfection, something I still have to grapple with. Also, horses are living creatures with their own opinions and worldviews and sometimes you can do everything right and still “fail” because it’s a partnership that takes 200% (pretty sure there’s a star trek quote in there somewhere, oh well). Ro loves working with the little ones, and she takes it very seriously, but she will see exactly how far she can push an envelope, and June got a small taste of the stubbornness only a mare can produce. It’s the stuff of legends.
I was told an old cowboy saying once “you can tell a gelding, you can ask a stallion, but you have to discuss it with a mare”. I think that fits Ro pretty well. She’s rarely truly naughty, but sometimes she would rather know “why” than just agree. June had to answer the “why do I have to listen to you instead of my mom” question a lot as well as the “what happens if I just refuse to walk on”. June handled it like a seasoned pro, and when both horse and rider got a little more serious than I liked, we hopped off to go practice other things.
I’ve had to laugh this week, as the most stereotypical, the-universe-said-no thing happened. So, I really should drain, clean and refill my stock tank. I like to do it in the summertime, when it’s hot enough that the inevitable, giant mess I make evaporates quickly. This year, since sometime in April, my auto waterer was leaking like a sieve and would flood out the corral if left on (a bad trait for an auto waterer, it has but one job). I’ve had to manually check and turn on the water several times a day, which is no big deal really, but planned on replacing it because I don’t want something to ever come up and leave the girls low on water, ya know? Anyways, I figured, since it floods out all the time anyway, I’d just leave the auto waterer on, let it flood out in the 100+ degree weather, it would cycle the water out, I could just suck it up and do the cleaning when the water was overflowing, and it would sorta save me having to manually drain and refill. I’m sure you see where this is going…. It stopped leaking. Works fine now. Has worked fine for days. I’m not complaining, they aren’t necessarily cheap to replace, but like, really? It’s just confusing. Oh well.
I also put up the pool noodles on the metal gates. It’s the tackiest looking thing, duct taping pool noodles to your fencing, but I prefer to not scorch my hand every time I wanna go through the gate. Plus with little ones I really need to up the safety factor around those things, because a burnt hand is annoying to me, but could be a whole day ruined for a little one. This year, instead of full sized noodles, the dollar tree was carrying slightly skinnier ones. I thought this was going to be a problem but it actually worked out better as the noodles had a stronger grasp on the fence making them easier to install. I had hoped to get green duct tape, but couldn’t find any easily accessible this year, so teal it is. Learn from my mistakes here, don’t zip tie them to the fence. Yes I’m sure the duct tape is going to melt and I’ll probably have to saw the pool noodles off at the end of summer, but I had to do that with the zip ties too, plus contend with the mares spinning the noodles and then cutting themselves on the little end bits, they weren’t as secure, and if you move them too much through day to day use, the zip ties will saw their way through the noodles all on their own. Trust me, find another solution. And then share it with me.
Alright-y, well that’s the news of the farm, thanks for hanging out for another week.
Until we chat again my friends