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May 2010
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Tractors and Wheelchairs and Basketballs, Oh My!

Today was the second time I worked with the new pony since her arrival on Tuesday.  I know… I had better intentions, but I’ve been busy with things like defending my thesis, editing and printing my thesis, playing in the MFA Softball Showdown (we won!), attending one last (sniff) party with my fellow MFA’ers.  And maybe it’s better to let the new pony settle into her new pasture and get to know her new herd.  She’s had a lot of things to adjust to already this week.

So anyway, I didn’t mean to, but today I ended up working with the new pony at probably the busiest possible moment at the ranch.  The Horse Experience class was just finishing up.  The archery class was just letting out.  The tractor was scooping up woodchips to get ready for a big event tomorrow.  Kids and parents were everywhere.

My plan had been to work the new pony in the roundpen and then brush her in the roundpen.  But I forgot about Horse Experience when I was planning my day, and they needed the roundpen.  So, I tied the new pony to some baling twine attached to the brand new tie rail and started brushing her.  She was pretty fidgety, but who can blame her with goats bleating, a tractor driving back and forth, and sacks of feed being dumped all right behind her?  She picked up all her feet very nicely and let me brush her and doctor her nice big scrape (courtesy of *someone’s* hooves).  She was curious when one of the Horse Experience students came past in a wheelchair.  She was only mildly startled when one of the Ranch Hands walked right up behind her and patted her on the butt.  But she never once spooked.  Just fidgeted.  Which reminds me an awful lot of someone else whom I used to call “fidgety mouse.”

Once she was all brushed we walked past a big scary black garbage can and someone decided she wanted to check it out and sniff it.  So brave!  And then we worked in the roundpen:  walking, trotting, and even a little cantering before the new pony came into the middle and let me pet her all over before following me all around the roundpen.  So easy!  And all the while, kids were playing basketball on the court right next to the roundpen.  No spooks.  No bucks.  No kicks.  In fact, the new pony didn’t do anything exciting, unless you think doing exactly what she was asked to do is exciting (which I kind of do).  In fact, she looked downright bored with basketball by the time we were through:

ho hum

And then I thought maybe it was time to spruce her up a little bit, so I got the scissors and gave her a new bridle path.  Or halter path, rather, since we aren’t to the point where she’ll be wearing a bridle yet.  She wasn’t sure what I was doing at first, but it didn’t take her long to stop fidgeting and sniffing the scissors and settle right in to being beautified:


And thus, I predict:  if she’s already so matter-of-fact about all this activity, she is going to be one bombproof little chestnut mare by the time we’re through.

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