Friday, June 26, 2009
Is Remi home??
Here's a story from when we first brought the bouncing boy home.
At that time we had two horses here for him to meet and greet, Princeton the shire we had hoped to pair him with and Sara a 15.2 Belgian/Arab crossbred. Princeton, although a gelding, was none too happy to see what he perceived as competition for his girl. His answer to that was to be aloof and keep him at hoofs distance; Literally. We weren't too worried about this as Prince has always been a big bluffer. Most of what he did was for show. A little flattening of the ears, show the teeth and a two step charge was all it took to convince the baby Remi that Grandpops wasn't in the mood to make friends just yet.
Sara, on the other hand was a whole 'nother story. Having always been (to put it nicely) a big flirt, we fully expected her to try to impress the tall, handsome new man with her girlish charms. No one could have predicted her reaction. When we turned Remi loose and she got an eye full of the bouncing baby she let out a whinny like I had never heard from her before, and trotted right up to the towering child (remember he was 17.2) and began to sniff and nuzzle him all over. She had just come out of season and now she thought that somehow this was her baby. It was plainly obvious to all who saw her with him that she thought this was her child. He had such a playful coltish attitude toward everyone and everything that she somehow failed to realize that(a)she hadn't had a baby (b)he wasn't really a BABY (c) he was waaaaay too big. She began to intercede between Remi and Princeton, often fighting Remi's battles for him, she followed him around everywhere hardly ever more that 3 to 4 feet away. That was comical as we would tell people who witnessed this that she was just following the shade.
Now I have to tell you that we did have some concern for Remi with Sara for about a week. You see we never could figure out whether she did this because she was teaching him, or because of her "Devil made me do It" personality. Every morning when the horses were turned out of the stalls she would herd him towards the fence. Once close enough she would turn and charge at him till he hit the hot wire and jumped away. She would then just walk away. I never could figure out if she was trying to teach him about the wire, or if she just wanted to know if the fence was on. Regardless in about a week he learned to never be between her and the fence. To this day, be it horse or human, he will never let himself be caught between a fence and another. He'll just calmly move around till he is out of fence position.
He is truly a creature of habit. I have to be careful in teaching him. Once he gets it, he's REALLY got it. I found this out in driving him. On his very first job I arranged for him to follow another carriage for a while. This meant that when we stopped to load passengers he was in the second position(Approx 20 feet back). The next year at the same job he pulled the first carriage position. He however remembered where we stopped to load passengers on the previous year, and that was where he would stop every time. Neither Cheryl on the ground nor I as his driver could convince him to move forward from that spot. The entire loading station, line of people, and four other carriages had to be moved back about twenty feet as Remington had learned it this way and this is the way it would be.
posted by trainer mom Bunny