It’s time for another instalment of drive 11 hours to visit young horse!
Excellent ground crew member and I head out early one morning on a short road trip to visit the youngsters. It sounds unplanned. It is not. We have planned this for weeks, right down to what snacks I can eat now that sugar is an issue. It sounds short, it is not.
There are approximately zero pictures of the road trip. It looks like road. No fires during the drive, nothing too exciting. Mostly other vehicles, pavement and trees. Except for the part through Jasper National Park. That stretch is my favourite. The Rocky Mountains never get boring.
10.5 (but 11.5 with the time change) hours later, we arrive at Mav’s birthplace. It is basically horsie heaven and we are greeted with the following. Please note, there was most certainly grain involved in this activity. Our arrival was not enough to cause this level of excitement.
Volume down for this edition. No catchy 80's tunes, just random snippets of loud talking completely out of context. You have been warned.
Freddie is much more interested in food than Mav. While he likes his cookies, Mav will wait patiently for them, or for food in general. Freddie spent the next 24 hours searching for leftover grain pieces every time she came down for water. So she also has a good memory. I may need that information later.
We brought the girls in and cleaned them up a bit. I’m not sure they looked much different after, but we enjoyed the time spent with them. Then to the round pen for a short session and video. Lots of video and pictures.
Nothing too exciting for Freddie. At 2, she isn’t expected to do much. I like to get a feel for how they handle pressure, and being away from friends. She is more interested in friends than Mav. But pretty good all things considered.
It must be said that Mav is pretty special, so any comparisons should be avoided where possible.
Excellent ground crew member put a pole in for her horse. That was also Uneventful.
After the round pen, we had some fun with the things set up in the ring area. Freddie happily followed through everything. Never questioning the near stranger leading her. I realize I am not actually a stranger to her and I’m pretty sure she already thinks treats and attention when she sees me, but I’ve only really seen her a handful
And we took a zillion pictures. Because that's what you do. Most were not so good, a couple not too bad. Some were silly, and others will never see the light of day.
Some fun ones of Freddie
Some of Excellent Ground Crew Members horse. She has a name, they both do, but the name of her horse keeps changing. So we call her all sorts of things at any given time. On this day, we called her Pickle. Since that day, she has been potato, melon and tater.
After messing with the girls, which doesn't really take up that much of the day, and visiting a surprisingly good tack store, we got to go on a trail ride. Tucked off the highway, was a lovely little store located in an old house called T&C Tack. Considering the location, in what appears to be a decidedly Western area, the selection of other tack was great! We will definitely visit again when we head out that way.
The trail ride, right, back to that. So we brought riding stuff on the off chance we got on a horse. Because when going to a farm that raises horses, it's always a possibility. We were glad we did!
We headed out with a 4th horse ponied for the experience. He is being started and was very well behaved on the ride! I think this ride helped me see how Mav was treated and the things he had done growing up. He wasn't started when I got him, but he had been ponied on the trail. Which technically is an access road around the property. But still counts. Mav was ponied without saddle, but this one is basically ready for her to climb on.
We had some other friends along for the run too as a few of the dogs joined us.
It's a massive property with areas of trees and huge open fields. It's very beautiful and Mav and Freddie are extremely lucky to have been born there!
I mentioned the dogs. The house is filled with furry friends that we enjoyed greatly.
Ash the cat. Who apparently is technically called "Ash-hole" although she was clearly on her best behaviour for us
The Doberman's. Beautiful dogs, although Chief does like to chase the horses when they are working!
And finally, Django the 3-legged wonder. Sadly, he has crossed the Rainbow Bridge since we were there.
Each time I go visit, I meet more horses I really like and I learn more about Mav, his upbringing, why he is so good to handle, the reason he is so well socialized and how much he actually did before coming to me. I say he was bought out of a field unstarted. But the truth is, he was shown love and taught all the basics early. Learning to give to pressure, to trailer, be familiar with clipper noise and vibrations, and to coexist with other horses and humans in harmony. Such important lessons.
I am grateful for those lessons daily as he is so polite and kind. As he entered into learning road and trail riding recently, those lessons allowed him to trust and excel.
I went on the not so short road trip to see my 2-year old. Which I did! And I'm thrilled with how she is growing up. But I took away so much more. It is Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving!) as I write this, which is way later than I meant to write it, but the one I did write was randomly deleted. It turns out there is again a reason and I am thankful for the twists and turns life takes and the people life delivers when you need them. I like to think we choose who we let into our weird little worlds, but sorry Robin Williams, the truth is, life chooses for us.