Jan 30-Playday Monday

It’s the end of a beautiful fair weathered January here in Arizona..they came the day after Thanksgiving.. so it’s just about nine weeks..nine weeks and from dull eyed depressed with flat coats and moving like a cluster of grapes not sure of what would happen next to bright eyed velvety coats and being curious and cooperative happy and playful..from not wanting to be an inch away from each other to grazing at opposite ends of the pastures..from protecting each other to separately investigating horses across the fence and different areas of the property..from barely being handled to Jade and Bella being ridden..and then becoming curious about a different corner or different terrain like the hills and the rocks and the sandy areas and lately it is curious about new little spaces like Bella and Sally exploring the chicken coops and Sampson walking up in the feed shed ..and at the round pen Sampson exploring the inside of the round pen with its deep sand and red blue and yellow barrels stored at the edge while the other three are flirting over the fence with the boys on the other side..

     Sampson and Sally are great “askers”..asking to go here or there or “what is this” and “what is that”..Bella is always interested in the other horses and wants to be the leader but when there is perceived protection needed it is Sampson that steps in to fight..Sally is amazing..she fits in or goes alone..often found grazing by herself or snoozing under a tree off in a corner and she is the fastest..maybe not fastest reacting but fastest running..Jade is definitely the most emotionally sensitive..like this weekend..the family or parts of the family come to visit on the weekends and the horses love it..love the interaction..love learning something new..this weekend there was no family due to schedules..in a way it was good so they learn plans vary and visits aren’t written in stone but it was interesting to watch..watch them looking up the road..watch them look at me with their questioning eyes..”isn’t it Sunday?”..and the curious part is they didn’t do it Saturday..did they know it was the last day of the weekend..who knows..so in working around them and watching them watch the gate I decided Monday would be a fun day for them..not to spoil..not to have a horse in charge..but to show these sentient beings..these curious friends..these “come so far” kids sometimes we substitute and sometimes plans change and it’s ok..it’s all good here..
       Monday comes and the four are haltered up with their red lead ropes attached.. letting the horses out single file of their sleep area by the hay to roam the duck area with ropes over their backs and then opening the gate to the
road to the round pen the four headed for fun..some of the ropes falling to the ground as they go ..
walking at first and then slow trotting and finally running..now flinging their lead ropes off to the side with a toss of the head and moving freely in the large area..the part about walking/trotting with the lead rope is the horse learns to give to the pressure it feels when stepping on the rope..it’s never good with a long lunge line or rope or to have the horse alone out there with the rope dragging in case it gets wrapped around a leg or tangled with another horse but at this particular time with these particular horses it was working.
.they were experimenting..and learning now the horses across the fence acted like they have never seen these four before..across the fence it was horses running and twirling and jumping..just noticing the difference of the dangling short red cotton ropes.
.then after the free time there was the group tie time..learning to tie closely without biting your neighbor or getting tangled in another’s rope..just stand nicely till I come and get you..and they did..
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