I see you standing at the gate! You must be new here, I’ve never been brought in from the field by you before but I have a feeling we’re going to be friends—or not! I will decide when you put my halter on whether I will follow you tacitly or break away, briefly attempt to kick you, and then let you chase me around the field for 40 minutes. Either way, won’t that be fun?!
Come! I would love to give you a tour of my paddock, where I spend most mornings between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. unless there’s rain, sleet, or snow!
Have you ever put on a halter before? A few times, maybe? I think we both know which way this is going. But don’t worry, I will take it easy on you! I’ll just trot slowly away toward the back forty and you can jog along behind—until you catch up, and then I’ll take off at breakneck speed!
Isn’t this great? They moved me into the large paddock this spring! There is a nice view of the other turnouts from here at the top of the hill. When the wind blows gently and the sky is clear, I could almost stay up here, grazing peacefully all day. But then I remember there are so many other things to do! One of these things is to run as fast as I can down the hill while screaming frantically to the herd of mares next door. I do this just to get them going, but boy, it works every time!
Don’t worry! You are very small and feeble while I am tall, fast, and strong with a famous reining horse on my mother’s side. You will never catch me, but occasionally, I will let you think you are getting close. See? Come on now! Where was I…?
Oh yes! Here is the mud puddle where I like to stash various pieces of tack and equipment from the barn. There are several lead ropes and a feed tub in here, along with Pal’s leather Reserve Champion halter from Stall 9. They will never find that one! Also, three out of four of my horseshoes from July are in here too. They were brand new and aluminum—the farrier’s face was sure red that day!
Over here is my favorite corner… hey, where did you go?
There you are! You are breathing very hard and your two stubby legs are inefficient and covered in mud. That’s why God made creatures he likes with four legs!
But I digress! In this corner right here I can look across the street and view some farm machinery. The machinery is the very same machinery that we use every day at our farm. But from here, I submit that it looks extraterrestrial and vaguely sinister. Every morning, when I first see this machinery, I flip my tail over my back, prance, snort loudly, and spin! See? Now you try!
Actually, that leads me to my very best gait! Have I shown you this gait? It’s the extended, extended trot. I like to save this trot for just these special moments, when there is something pretend-alarming and no real reason to demonstrate such suspension and attractiveness. In fact, in the show ring, my preferred trot is very slow, since I also need to swing my hindquarters from side to side while wringing my tail simultaneously when other horses get close. Ha! It’s just my privilege to have so much athleticism and range!
Have I shown you the pond? In the summer months, I love to wade and swim in this pond, sometimes right up to my neck! It’s funny, because water in almost any other setting is not something I entertain—even though most water jumps, trail hazards, and puddles are far smaller and pose zero threat of accidental drowning! I know this because sometimes, I let my rider try them out when she leans up the neck. I can see when she stomps back to the in-gate with her pouty face and sloshy boots that she is secretly grateful, because now she has a story to tell all her friends!
Well, that’s about it! Have you any questions for me before I docilely allow you to attach that lead rope and take me into the barn? When we get back to my stall I have more things to show you about picking feet—oh, what fun we’ll have!