Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I think I am fairly good at figuring out the general personality of a horse quickly. However, I love taking time to really get to know what makes each horse unique. I have known Bre for 11 years and at this point know her as well as I know myself. I can tell what naughty thing she is thinking up by just the look on her face. I knew both Bre and Belle for many months before buying them. I had been taking lessons on Belle until she needed colic surgery. Then when she was rehabbing from surgery I spent a ton of time hand walking her and getting her back in shape. When it came time to buy a horse of my own I kept looking for one just like Belle so when they offered to sell her it was a no brainer. I started training Bre at age three and bonded with her long before buying her was an option. By the time my name was on her papers Bre had already chosen me as her owner.

In comparison Dickie and I have only know each other for a very short time. I bought him after only meeting him for a few minutes. He has one of those personalities that sucks anyone in so it didn't take me long to fall in love. He is such a social guy that he demands everyone within his sight loves him. Even with that endearing personality it still takes time to really know a horse. After two months I feel like we are getting to the point where we have a personal bond. He doesn't like me just because he likes everyone, he recognizes me individually. He whinnied for me twice on Sunday and I went all gooey inside. It was the girliest little baby whinny and hilarious coming out of this big studly looking horse.

The more I get to know his weird quirks the more I love him.  For example he likes to put everything in his mouth but there are a few things that make him as joyous as a little kid on Christmas. When I get my gloves out he perks up and starts this crazy ants-in-my-pants dance with a gleam in his eye because he wants to chew on them BAD. Today he was super focused on unscrewing the top of the treat tub but left that in a second when he saw the gloves. If they are on my hands he doesn't bother them but if I haven't put them on they are fair game. God forbid I let my guard down because once he gets a glove in his mouth there is no getting it back. I would have about as much luck winning a tug of war match with a pit bull.

His lead rope is also apparently as tantalizing as horse crack. We will be walking along with him looking around at the birds and cats and things then suddenly I see a light bulb go off "OMG LEAD ROPE!!!" he will do a crazy double skip hop in the front and bite the air away from the lead but his ears and eyes are a dead giveaway to what he is planning. If I can catch him at the first skip with an "Ahhhh ahhh ahhhh" I have some hope of keeping the lead out of his mouth. If he gets past crazy hopping to air snapping his mouth then I might as well just give in and let him carry the rope because he has his mind set. He cracks me up because I really think he thinks he is being sly. There is nothing sly about this guy though. When something gets him happy he hops and does crazy dance moves with his head and snaps the air. Usually he gets most happy when he sees I am in possession of something he might want to put in his mouth but large fluffy dogs have also been known to elicit dance moves.

The more I get to know him the more I love his personality. He is just so fun. Sometimes he is exhausting because he never stops. He is always looking for something to grab or knock over so I can't let my guard down. I know horses who can just chill out while people are talking and he isn't one of those. If you watch him closely his mind never stops. I have never seen him just zone out and chill. It isn't that he is anxious. This horse is far from anxious. He's has to be the happiest horse I've ever been around. Even when he throws a tantrum because he doesn't want to do something the second he is done Mr Happy face comes right back. When I am not keeping his mind busy he's just always watching, plotting, and planning. He doesn't see why we should just stand around when we could stand annnnnd pull down halters, knock over plants, smack humans with the lunge whip, twirl the lead rope, and do a little dance at the same time. I am really trying hard to find the balance between having an obedient horse and without expecting too much of him. I don't want to lose that curious nature by expecting him to stand still at all times.

Tonight I took him in the arena to lunge and drooled all over myself. He is getting so strong and confident in his movements and it doesn't seem real that I will get the privilege to work with such a nice horse. He has some real talent. We also tried long lining which was both a win and a disaster. My main goal was to make sure he wouldn't mind all the ropes and he didn't. In fact he was so relaxed with all the ropes around his body that he decided the most logical thing to do would be to roll. Somehow I managed to keep everything away from his legs. However, he didn't want any part of steering and decided that he could walk any direction he felt even if I had him turned the other way. I have plans for fixing that but he was so mellow and seemed so happy to be learning something new that I quit and called it good. We ended with our usual stand by the mounting block. We did that quite a bit at the old barn but I have neglected this routine the last few weeks. This arena is a little more difficult because there are really cool things by the mounting block. He wanted to stand still but he also gets a craving for eating lunge whips from time to time and the neatly lined up row of whips was calling to him. This mounting block is also really tasty. The mounting block is made for all the 18h warmblood hunters so I towered over him. I couldn't resist laying over his back to see how he felt. He took a few steps with me over his back and could care less. I slid down to the ground and gave him a good rub down. I love him.

It's hard to get pictures without at least one blurry body part because he is so busy. 
Attempting to throw halters on the floor, and rip his fly mask off the stall door. He is super shiny and you can kind of see here. I am sad that we will be losing the summer shine soon. 
Opening the treat bucket. He left that in a heartbeat when I pulled the gloves out of my pocket.
 Looking quite grown up. 
 Ready for some loving. Notice the fleece surcingle pad isn't on his back where it should be. That occured during the long line rolling fiasco. 
 Rub my face please. 


  1. Ha! He seems like a hoot! It is so amazing to me how each horse is so different. I am waiting for the day Shy nickers or whinnies at me, but she just might not be that horse. I still love her and she is getting attached to me. I have heard other Haflinger owners say that it takes longer for a Haffie to bond, but once they do they are yours forever.

    1. Some horses just aren't very vocal. Bre never stops talking. She nickers constantly when you are outside her stall because she knows it will get her treats. Romeo is really quiet. I'm sure your mare loves you. It takes mares longer in general. Both bre and belle were like that.

  2. I take a while to bond with a new horse but once I am bonded that horse means my whole life.

    Dickie sounds very entertaining! We need some video of his dance moves.

    1. I haven't quite figured out how to get good video of him. Usually his happy dances occur when he sees I have something he wants so my hands are full of a giant baby and whatever it is he's trying to steal. Makes working the iPhone challenging. I'm hoping his uncle richie will come out sat so we can get more video.

  3. I had to laugh when you started talking about the long lining! Chrome was the exact same way about steering LOL! :D

    Dickie sounds like such an entertainer! I too would love to see a video if you can manage to get one (enlist help maybe?). I'm happy to see pictures though. He is so adorable!

    I bought Chrome without even meeting him, so when I got there and he was all stand offish and independent I almost cried! I was so afraid we wouldn't bond and he wouldn't like me. Because he was weaned at the same time I brought him home he was stressed, lonely and distant for a while. I was in love with him before I met him, but it took a bit for him to warm up to me. Now we're the best of friends. :D

    There's nothing wrong with laying across Dickie's back. I did that too. I did it probably ten or twelve times during his two year old year. It was like less than a minute each time, but he did walk with me a few times. It never bothered him at all. :) I bet Dickie is going to be just as easy and fun as Chrome was for his first ride! I can't wait! I'm so excited for you!

    When Chrome was younger he was very busy and mouthy too. The mouthiness led to minor nipping so I had to put a stop to that, but I think part of it was because he was still a stallion. Once I gelded him I never had another problem with nipping. He has calmed down a lot over this past summer, but he's still game for anything. One of our favorite games ever is playing hide and seek or chase around the pond. That's how I've gotten a lot of the really cool pictures lately. :) I hope he never loses that fun personality. He's always been a laid back, lazy horse, but I bet when it cools off he'll get some energy back. I think he's just exhausted from the flies and sweet itch right now. He's been a lot more playful since I started treating his sweet itch with the neem oil. :D

    Sorry for the long comment. :) I'm looking forward to your next update!

  4. Dickie sounds like quite a character with a great sense of humor. We have a horse that acted similar to him when he was younger. Nate my daughter's horse used to destroy everything and was very mouthy. He hasn't lost all of his little habits and still has a sense of humor: if you don't watch out he'll actually give you a wedgy or if you bend over in front of him he'll take his nose and push you over. I swear that horse can smile and snicker. He's very charming though and it seems to me that Dickie is just as charming and fun to be around. I wonder if he just likes the taste of leather because of the gloves and leads.

    1. He sure does sound like Dickie. It's never done out of meaness. His mind is just going nonstop so if I don't keep it busy he finds a way to make things fun. I got on him for the first time yesterday and the only time we had a scary momemt was when he forgot I was on him and went to throw a tantrum because my friend wouldn't let him carry the lead rope. I won't lie, sometimes he is exhausting, but once he matures I have a feeling that sharp mind is going to come in handy on a cross country course or learning dressage movements.