I don’t know what the plant is but I was on a guided Moonlight walk one evening last summer and the guide showed us how this plant has these sweet edible tops! So if we are out hiking and get hungry we can forage. Well, Sterling didn’t need a guide, he has instinct or curiosity!
Besides Sterling, my Andalusian stallion who is now 4 years old, I have a 19 year old thoroughbred gelding who is his pasture mate. The boys live inside of the track system that the girls live on and they can travel the property together separated by the fence. You can see the dirt track behind Sterling in the photo below. If I have a complaint about Sterling it’s that his right front foot is so difficult to trim because he cannot, or I believe will not just stand there and hold it up for me to trim it. He pulls it forward and paws. This is not something he does when he stands tied, waiting, only when I want to trim it. If you have followed my blog, you’ll know I have spoke of this before. Currently I am steeped in Linda Kohanov’s book “The Power of the Herd.” I likely have been reading it’s parts for a year now because I believe its information is applicable every day in every situation. In fact In the Company of Horses has a workshop based in these understandings. Yesterday when I went to get Sterling to trim , Harley came right along with us. I tied Sterling to the hitching rail, gathered my stuff and began trimming. If he was attentive and thoughtful with his feet and my trimming, every few minutes he would get praise and a cookie, if he was not, a no and no cookie. Well, Harley caught on to this pretty quick and came over to get a cookie, but the price was to get a foot trimmed first. Now Harley has no problems getting his feet trimmed but Sterling watched as I talked and worked with Harley at liberty to get his feet trimmed, just one at a time and I made a big fuss telling him he was a good boy, lots of rubs and a cookie. Then I would go to one of Sterling’s easier feet and do the same. If he pulled any of them away at any time, I just let it go, said no and went back to Harley to trim another foot, lavish him with praise and cookies and then back to Sterling again. Happily Harley has 4 feet to trim because it took that much back and forth for Sterling to catch on and stand, holding his foot up and waiting with attention and thoughtful behavior, being careful of me, while getting his feet trimmed, getting tons of “good boys” and of course cookies! Wearing shorts and sneakers is another good incentive for a girl to not fight with a big horse to get his feet trimmed!
So, I could not find Sterling anywhere in his field or in the woods. If you have followed my blog at all, you know he has become quite the explorer this year. So I was calling and I saw him down in the creek eating something. He reminded me of a moose in the water. That rope that crosses the creek in the following photo is the only thing that keeps him off the track where the girls live. I will modify that, but it does look like he would need to limbo underneath it. So, I called him and he came out of the creek to visit with me which is very easily accessed from the woods when the leaves and brush are not growing, like in the Autumn.
Then, like he was showing me what he found, he went back in the water and decided to walk down the stream. This is not anything the girls or any other horses have done for that matter in my space! He is a brave explorer! Then off he goes.
He went around the corner and out of sight! I was hopeful that he would come back. Happily I noticed a large tree had fallen across the creek and he was not interested (at least on this day) in jumping it!
Without any trouble he came back and then I started the video on my phone as he played in the water. Sorry about turning the phone, I didn’t know I couldn’t and I don’t know how to fix it now!
At the end there when he scales the opposite bank, effortlessly I might add, that is why I can no longer use the creek as a fence. I thought there really was no inviting place on the other side of the creek to cross. Or at least there wasn’t before there was!
This is the bridge we build for the boys to cross the creek. And, until now this is how they always crossed over into the woods. You know what they say about idle hooves!
He had been out on the track all day and just came into the space where we had a horsemanship workshop, there were many distracting piles on the way to dinner!
This is my first attempt at uploading a video! I hope it works.
The flowers are blooming and the grass is green. The annual shedding ritual has come and gone and only a few remnants of winter remain. My boy is growing into the most lovely man. Strong; bold; athletic; interested and attentive. Attentive to me, his gelding friend and his herd of seven mares. He holds himself and carries himself in the most attractive ways. He is officially three years old now! Oh how time flies.
Happily during a recent horsemanship workshop at my house where there were new horses coming and going, Sterling did the right thing and stayed quietly with his herd or by his gelding friend Harley in their woods field. He was quiet, and all the while attentive and calm. I could not ask for anything more.