Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Horses, dogs, and other short stories

I waited until Cliff went to work yesterday to give Blue his workout. The horses weren't far away when I headed toward them, halter in hand. I walked up to Blue, reached up to put the halter on him... and he suddenly decided to run away. Actually, "run" isn't the proper word; it was more of a slow lope. Blue likes to conserve energy whenever possible, which is part of the cause of his weight problem. Of course, the other two horses, more nimble and lively than he, did plenty of real running. This encouraged him, and he decided to continue the game.

I was taken aback, because Blue hasn't run from me in years.

He soon tired of avoiding me; for that I'm thankful. It's just that my feelings were hurt, because although Blue won't come when I call, he always stands patiently for me to reach his side and put the halter on him.

Then I realized the problem: It's autumn. The temperatures, both highs and lows, were twenty degrees cooler than the previous day. Any weather change can affect a horse's behavior, but autumn really puts them into a second childhood. Which is why it's the best time of year to ride; all that extra energy, you know.

I'll be sure and take a treat out with me the next few times I go after him. Nothing motivates Blue like food.

When I'm preparing to ride, I make sure Sadie is in the house, because she has a bad habit of wanting to chase horses. She seems to have some breed of cattle dog in her background, and she runs behind the horses growling and barking, trying to herd them; she does this with me and Cliff, to a degree, when we're heading out to take our walk. She doesn't chase cars, but she has scared me to death running in front of the school bus trying to "herd" it. She still seems to recall how it hauled my granddaughters away, back when I babysat them. As far as she's concerned, it's an evil monster who eats little girls, only to spit them out a few hours later. She intends to do all she can to stop such behavior.

For obvious reasons, I do my best to see that Sadie isn't outside when it's time for the bus to go past.

It would do her good to get kicked by one of the horses; maybe then she'd quit this unwanted behavior. The trouble is, I'm afraid she'd get kicked hard enough to kill her. So I yell, "Noooo" at the top of my lungs, and she usually stops. Until the next time.

Yesterday I decided to take Sadie to the barn with me. I was only going to ride in the pasture for a half-hour, so we'd be on our property the whole time. I wondered if she'd try chasing Blue while I was riding. No big deal if she did, because Blue isn't scared of dogs barking at his heels.

But the silly mutt surprised me. She had a marvelous time following at a distance, then running ahead or loping alongside. She seemed to enjoy the whole thing immensely.

So from now on when I'm going to ride on our property, Sadie gets to go along.


Hollie said...

Sounds like an interesting day at your place.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I can just picture you all riding along having a wonderful time of it. Life just couldn't get much better than that for sure! Its still raining here. I hope your Tuesday is a great one!
'On Ya'-ma

Paula said...

Cute entry about Blue and Sadie. Animals sure get their own litte personality going, don't they?

Helen said...

Sounds like both of them changed yesterday. At least Sadie changed for the better. Funny about her and the big yellow school bus. Fall or spring probably does make animals as well as humans feel better. Helen

Rachel said...

Sadie impresses me more each time I see her. She's matured so much. Don't tell anyone, but I truly like her now!

Midlife Mom said...

What a great story. I would love to have a dog to go along with me on rides but the Hubs is anti-dog. Other then that he's a great guy! lol!