Monday, January 21, 2008

Bella went out on a big long walk today. We didn't go five miles or anything, just around the place, but we took our time and toodled around and she had to put up with me taking pictures constantly.

First we walked up to the house, Liam came out and I asked him to get his sister to bring the camera. Then we went out to the field and explored while waiting. I sat down on the table that Katia uses to mount when riding bareback, and Bella tickled my eye with her breath. No child with camera, so into the front yard where I could just barely reach a window with my whackin' stick (more commonly called a handy stick or carrot stick). Tap tap tap. Bella didn't like that in conjunction with the propane grill she was trying to come to terms with, and she did dance around a little. Got her straightened back out, facing the scary stuff, and tap tap tapped again. Finally got a camera and took her picture in the front yard. Isn't she fuzzy?

We continued on down the driveway and found the trailer! How neat! She was a bit wary, took her time and sniffed, and eventually touched the wheel well. What a good girl. In this picture you see my stick, my camera case, and my lead rope all in one hand. I wouldn't have chanced that if she wasn't such a good, steady girl. By the way, this is the first time I've used the stick with her because I kept forgetting it at my sister's house. She acted like we've used it all along, taking it for what it was - an extension of my arm - either moving when driven or enjoying a rub with the end of the stick, or just ignoring it.

I went to the back and opened it up, expecting her to then remember her not-so-fun experience of being hauled home in there. If she thought it was really scary, she didn't let on. She was again curious. I tried to get her to line her body up against the open door, but instead she offered to go in a couple times. I had to stop her since the trailer isn't hitched. I like to introduce them to the trailer that way, so I'm not tempted to rush things. The next thing we'll work on is getting her to position herself right up against a wall, so when we trailer load she won't be uncomfortable and feel that she needs to move into MY space. She reminds me of a pony in this picture:

Next we headed into the round pen, walked around, sniffed the fence, went back out. The sawhorses are still out there from when we built it, and she had to investigate those.

Here we're down by the creek, where coyotes and deer often come through. No tracks there today, probably all filled in by snow in the big wind last night.
I thought these next two pictures were cute. She was really wanting to graze, so she dug a little hole and got her nose all snowy.

Now check out the depth of this snow drift! She didn't hesitate at all to walk through it when I asked her to. Notice that when I asked her to stop she just let her right front hoof sit on top of the snow. Funny girl. I think she'd just noticed the horses across the highway. Or more likely saw something I didn't even know was there. These mustangs notice everything.
We went into the hay field where the snow was easier to deal with and she got to eat some tasty dead grass. Yum.
At this point she was so totally unconcerned that I was thinking we ought to head for a walk down the road. That would have meant leaving my kids with no supervision though, which isn't an option for at least a couple more years. So we called it a day. On the way back past the house she got a bit alarmed at some unnatural objects, but dealt with it well.

Pretty good for her second walk outside the fence! I think she's going to be a phenomenal saddle horse!

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