4 legged critters...
In addition to my daily grind, yesterday we did something completely new to our family. As you may or may not know, the land included with the purchase of our house included a small pasture. The pasture is only about an acre and seemed more growth than anything. We have already had to have it cut once due to the growth. Our pasture is fenced in with two gates on the north and south side. There is another pasture on the north side of our pasture that shares a fence with our pasture. In the other pasture, there are 3 horses - a mare, a stud and a colt. Until now, we have admirer these horses from afar. Last Thursday, I walked down to the other pasture to speak with the owner of the 3 horses. I told her that if she wanted, she could open our north gate and let her horses chew our pasture down. She was grateful because she was already having to feed them hay due to the lack of grass on her pasture. She walked our pasture to make sure that the fences were secure and there was nothing dangerous for the colt to get hurt on. Soon the gate was open and the horses came in to feast on our grass. For a few days, they stayed in the northwest corner of our pasture.
Today, we came home from town to find the horses in the south end of our pasture. This is only about 15 foot away from our driveway. We carefully got out of the car and my husband immediately went to the fence. The stud and the colt smelled of his hand and before you knew it, he was petting the horses. When I came up, they left. I was determined to pet these horses so I went into the house and brought back carrots. It wasn't long before the stud and colt were eating out of all of our hands, even Isaac's. I though Isaac may be afraid of the horses for nothing else but their size but he wasn't even shy to them. We stood outside for about 2 hours feeding and petting the horses.
In the pasture to the east of ours that shares a fence with us, there lives a solid black Tennessee Walker. This is one beautiful horse. While we were petting the colt and stud, he kept looking over the fence as if he were jealous. I went down to the southeast corner of our pasture and tried to coax him over with carrots. He responded to my voice and would shake his tail on command but would not come over and take the carrot from me. I threw several carrots, one hitting his ass, and he walked away as if he were not interested in my carrots. I called him a jackass and he nodded his head at me. Horses! It wasn't until I joined Tim and Isaac again before the black horse happily munched on the carrots. He neighed really loud like he was saying "thank you but I'm still not going to let you pet me." I yelled to him, "you're welcome jack." He nodded again. Tim says that it won't be long before he'll eat the carrots from my hands like the horses that are using our pasture.
My original plan for our pasture was to by a calf, put it in our pasture, feed it corn only and name it "Ribeye." We were going to feed the calf the best feed for the most tender meat and kill it when it was time. This seems brutal to me now. Tim's brother has horses that he does absolutely nothing with and Tim seems to think that he will sell them to him for next to nothing. These horses have never been broke or had any special attention. It will be hard to gain the trust of these horses but completely worth it in the end. We are still weighing the positives and negatives. Tim says that he is too old to break a horse. For those of you that do not know, breaking a horse involves trust, on both parts horse and human, patience, time and usually a sore bum. Breaking is getting the horse that has never had a saddle on it to be able to wear a saddle and finally to respond to rope directions. It takes a lot of dedication, patience and a sore ass. I've only ever broken two horses. The first, I thought I would just get on it, without a saddle, and ride it until it was tired. That plan may have worked if I would have at least bridled it first. Never-the-less, I got a sore ass but the horse will let me ride him bareback still. The second horse I bridled and took to a shallow stream. The water provides a cushion for me and wears the horse out faster. Think about it, is it easier to run in a field or in water up to your knees? It makes sense. So I took the horse to a shallow stream and saddled it, barely, then put a 50 lb bag of potatoes in the saddle. Once he we through bucking and running, he was tired and did not resist when I removed the bag of potatoes and got on. I only helped break this horse for that one day. Some horses require up to a year of doing this daily to be able to ride. I have never completely broken a horse on my own, owned a horse or cared for a horse for an extended length of time. I'm sure that it is a lot of work. I already have a lot of work. The time off would be worth it though, I would be able to ride with my family and that would just rock.
Isaac told Tim yesterday, "Daddy, I want horse, I be a cowboy baby."