For the past three days I have been on vacation, which is to say that I have taken paid days of leave from work. For when you own
property with as many inhabitants as ours, real vacation is generally out of the question. When I take days off from work, it’s usually to do physical labor … and to get in a little extra horse-time.
My excuse for days off was my horseshoer, who had to change our usual Friday (my telecommute day) to Wednesday this month. It seemed like a good excuse to put in some pre-Spring work on the place. This is not necessarily the best time to take off work – but these days there is no good time for me to take off from work. Since I’m working in support of this place, and its inhabitants, it is all rather pointless if I don’t take time to enjoy it!
Aside from handling horses for the shoer, the days have been filled with mowing, mending broken fence and setting new fencing. In between, I’ve been taking time out to ice the foot and work horses. Typical for us, we’ve been overdoing it just a tad; so, by the time we reached this evening, there wasn’t much energy for working horses. The boys were all good with their turnout time, but I wanted to spend some time with Tally – so I decided that we would play!
Our “games” are not complicated and, although I make “the rules”, participation is completely voluntary. That’s part of what makes it fun – she gets to choose whether or not she wants to play.
Just like small children, Tally has a short attention span. But a short burst around the arena, to get the blood pumping again, and she’s back for more! There’s nothing quite so rewarding as having your horse make the free choice to be with you.
The trust and communication between us keeps growing – we even played a couple of rounds of “Boo!” (Nash’s favorite). It goes like this … four-legged comes prancing up, neck arched, until two-legged jumps and says “Boo!”, at which four-legged whirls, leaps, bucks … and comes back for round two! I would not have dared try that with her a year ago … but she was enjoying it tonight! Then, she was completely soft again when I softened my posture to end the game.
I ended the evening watching Noble play against a fiery orange sunset. I could watch that boy all day!
No, this may not be many people’s idea of a vacation … but I wouldn’t trade it!
Be good to your horses!