(photo by Darling, editing by me)
Sandy’s weakest area is still his self confidence. I spent Saturday going in and out with treats; hands full of grain to offer in an attempt to get him to enjoy my presence. It appeared to be working, but Sunday he was back to snort and spook the moment he saw me walk around the corner. With church and dinner at my grandmother’s, there really wasn’t time to spend with him, and what little time I did have is precisely when God deemed it appropriate to open up the heavens with a down pour of biblical proportions. Not just rain, but wet, sloppy snow was thrown into the mix. Cold and wet and The Desperate Horsewife do not mix well, as you may have gathered.
This past week we put the round pen up in the field, about 50′ from the paddock. The ground is still too wet and slick for it to be of any real use in terms of working a horse, but it made for a good first outing away from the paddock. Sandy, however, is not a mud wallower such as Jet. No, he plants those mustang feet of his and refuses to tread across what may just suck him down into the very bowels of hell. I can’t say I blame him, being barefoot in the mud isn’t my idea of how to spend an afternoon, either, but I’ll be danged if I’m going to share my muck boots with him. It took a great deal of convincing, and eventually a rope around his middle and run through his halter, to convince him that following me was the easiest solution.
Along with our short walks back and forth, Sandy has learned to wear a saddle. He doesn’t want me reaching underneath him, so I tied a little bailing twine onto the cinch and then manage to move him so that the string is on my side of his body, and then I pick it up and tighten the saddle onto his back. He’s not bothered in the least by this. He’s worn a bridle, complete with a bit in his mouth. He looks right handsome, don’t you think?
If only we had a few nice days of weather, all in a row like little ducks, the ground may dry out enough to actually be of use. Then again, with all the rain perhaps it’s God’s way of keeping me moving at a pace that is more comfortable for Sandy. I’d be tempted, no doubt, to push him further, faster, if I had a few hours of warm sunshine and dry footing out there. Sandy is undoubtedly thankful for the poor weather conditions!
All saddled up and wanting to go nowhere!