Have a seat. Can I get a cup of delicious, hot coffee for you? Or would you rather prefer the ice version? What’s the weather like at home?
We’ve had a cooler week, with some light rain. Not like the floods we had earlier. It’s actually been perfect weather for preparing my new garden, with temperatures in the 60’s. It could of been in the upper 90’s, I believe it was this time last year. Then the ground would of been so much harder. I’ve been planning out my garden, and carried out the work by hand. Digging, measuring, and digging some more. (Maybe you’ve been following the progress on Instagram?) I’ve worked hard this week. I feel it in my body. I like the feeling. I feel strong.
I’ve been moving some of my things to our new house, and will (hopefully) move the rest this weekend. The plan is to move at least all the heavy stuff today, and sleep in the new house tonight for the first time. I was hoping to have both my horses at the new place by now, but because of circumstances out of my control, Ghost is the only one there. I moved him yesterday afternoon. They were both supposed to come together earlier in the week, but sometimes things doesn’t go as planned. I’m bringing Fancy tomorrow morning, so it’s only two days/nights Ghost is there by himself. Our new neighbor have horses, that he can see, and talk to, so I think it’s going to be OK for a couple days. It is however the first time in his whole life that he is without other horses. He enjoys company, very much. Horses are herd animals, so that’s to be expected. He is pretty independent, especially for his young age, and doesn’t go crazy without other horses. I take him out alone on walks every day. I started doing that three days after bringing him home in January. As soon as I felt that he would listen to me. (He wasn’t halter broke when I got him.) I believe our walks, and everything we had to overcome to feel comfortable around humans and our crazy things, (he spent his first almost 4 years in a pasture with very limited human contact,) have helped him to become braver and less herd bound.
The story of trailering him to our new house is a story in itself. When the original plan of trailering Fancy (the new, older, already trained horse,) and Ghost together in a big trailer didn’t work out, I asked a good friend if he could help me. He was very willing to help me, but his trailer is a very small trailer. Horses are claustrophobic by nature, and it takes time to teach a horse to be comfortable in a horse trailer. Something I haven’t had the opportunity to really work on, since I don’t own one. I have however, walked by a big stock trailer every day, encouraging him to smell all sides, even banged on the door (to make scary noises,) and we’ve been standing next to it for a few minutes every morning, just relaxing. I usually give him a carrot, or an apple as soon as he relaxes. I tell him “good boy”, and pet him for a while. Doing this before letting him out to the pasture in the morning have been a part of our routine. That’s the closest to trailer training that I’ve been able to do with him. This we’ve done very successfully though. I thought to myself that I’m going to make this tiny trailer a similar learning experience. I would love for it to result in Ghost coming home, but not if the cost is to high. I’m against using force in training. Getting a little out of your comfort zone is necessary sometimes, but I want the end to be on a positive note.
For a couple hours I worked with Ghost being comfortable with this little trailer. It didn’t take to long until a couple hooves were in the trailer, I gave him the rope, and let him step up and down as he pleased, but never walk away from the ramp (I do not like ramps on horse trailers, but this one had one.) After a while we had three hooves, then four. He walked in and out a few time, with all four hooves. He had an apple in the trailer. He wasn’t comfortable. He still walked in and out a few times. I was contemplating closing the door, and taking him home. When I asked the owner to the stake to come and close the door, since I was going to be in the trailer with Ghost, while leading him in (there was a small door in the front, where I was going to leave later.) When she came to help us, he said NO, and started to get really nervous. After a few minutes I decided to call it a day, after all he had been so brave and done everything I’ve asked, despite it being very scary. No reason to end on a bad note. I could rent a bigger trailer another day. I told the owner of the boarding facility my thoughts. She offered to drive him in her big stock trailer, if I loaded him. The very same trailer we’ve been walking by every day. I was thrilled. Ghost walked right in the first time I asked, and we were on our way home. I was happy with my decision, and very proud of Ghost. He has a huge heart. He was very happy while exploring his new home, and tasting the delicious green grass. We spent a few hours exploring the pasture together.
For the past four months while I have been boarding Ghost at Norcal Trailrides, in Anderson (CA,) I’ve been going there twice a day every day. I’m very happy to have Ghost where I live now, but I need to say that Alicia Ryan, the owner of the training facility, have been more than awesome during these four months. The facility itself is more than just kept up with maintenance, there’s constantly improvements being made. The atmosphere is friendly. It’s the first boarding facility I’ve used, and I’ve been to many, in different countries, with zero drama. She offers; scenic trail rides along the Sacramento River, boarding, riding lessons, birthday parties for kids, and colt starting – I’ve only seen happy customers ! I’ve seen clients come and go every day, and never a disappointed face. She makes everyone coming to her facility feeling on top of their world. She’s a really cool, hard working lady. I would highly recommend Norcal Trailrides to anyone in need of training, lessons, or boarding. It’s been awesome to have access to their indoor, and outdoor arenas while doing the initial work with Ghost. The atmosphere in the stable among the horses is very calm, they all seem to like it there. It’s a great place.
It’s been a rewarding, good week. I see things coming together. That is a feeling I like very much. Spring, I’m ready! Bring it on! How was your week?