It was with a little mix of sadness and excitement that Mikey went back to Happy Horse Hill to make room for another horse in Damascus. He’s learned tons, but it’s hard to market him, and so now that he’s learned his basic skills he gets a break for a while.
Initially we were going to pick up Bolt, a handsome chestnut gelding I am particularly fond of (hard not to be – he is Mr. Personality and oozes sweetness!), but due to some changing plans we picked up Cane’s Palace, a chestnut filly instead. Cane (or Candi, as my fellow boarders think she should be named) is an almost four year old, with a rounded forehead like Rosey had, and a sweet disposition. I didn’t actually know what she looked like (or even what color she was) when we went to pick her up. All I knew to look for was “the fuzzy cribbing collar” (yep. cribber. oh well!)
I finally located her in the field, and she gave me a bit of trouble catching her. She never outright ran away, she just kept me walking much longer than I would have liked. Eventually she relented, and she then climbed on the trailer like a pro. She does not, however, seem to know how to back off the trailer, so that will be something we need to work on. She definitely knows the loading drill, but likely was always on vans or trailers with a side ramp.
She settled in very quickly and had zero drama with her new turnout buddy. She’s been whinnying a lot, but doesn’t carry on or run around. All the geldings in the next field seem to find her very attractive and have been showing off for her. heh.
That’s her picture from late in the summer. She’s a bit woollier now! She also had a bad case of the skin funk, which is healed, but the old scabs left a bunch of marks in her coat. She also has a whole lot of Ben D’Or spots – I’ve seen a lot of horses with one or two, but she has a whole smattering of them (over a dozen on her left side). They seem easier to see in person than in the picture but it’s pretty neat. My first horse, an Appendix QH, had one and I was told it was good luck. So Candi must have all kinds of good luck!
On Sunday I hopped on for her first ride, after a moment of thinking “this could be a bad idea!” She’s never been in an indoor, and ours was crowded. But Allie has installed a sense of “Ehhhh, no biggie, it will be FIIIIIIIIINE” in me, so I went ahead and got her ready and took her in. Turns out, all was fine.
I took her to the mounting block expecting the usual – most of them haven’t stood for mounting before and sometimes are like, “huh?” about the mounting block (some are perfect. Cecil was perfect, and Leo was perfect). She was perfect. I showed her where to stand and she was all, “OK lady, I totally got the standing thing! I can stand all day!”
I swung on, and she didn’t move.
“Really, look at me! I stand like a champ! I am the standing queen!”
I said, OK, we can go now.
“But I am the STANDING QUEEEN! LOOK AT ME STAND!!! I’M THE CHAMPEEEEEN STANDER!”
I had to actually thump her to get her to walk. And then it was a slow walk.
I was a little worried I’d pitch off of her – she’s at a funny gawky stage right now, and being rather narrower than Yoda it feels like there’s nothing underneath you. Mikey, who is much shorter than her, still felt a lot more substantial. She’s also a bit downhill so I felt sort of pitched forward, especially as her preferred head carriage seems to be low. She’s also quite short-backed and I’m used to longer-backed horses… on the flip side, you can really feel what her back end is doing, which is kind of cool.
When it’s doing something, that is. Took some work to start installing the “go” button – she’s such a slowpoke!
She feels a little wonky behind which I think is just strength, and she may need shoesies on her little feetsies, though her hooves actually look really good. She looks like a really nice mover from what I can see, and uses her hind end really, really well.
In our first ride since Jess’s evaluation ride we WTC both directions, confirmed she has excellent brakes, and mastered the trot poles, which she showed absolutely zero hesitation about.
She’s perfectly fine with contact, and once I got her going enough even started getting connected a bit too.
She’s a super nice sporty little thing, once her gas pedal starts working she’ll be amazingly fun. Such a sane little girl!
The ONLY things she did were pin her ears when other horses got too close, and whinny a few times. Apparently, her “worked up” is whinnying. She doesn’t take any quick steps or act goofy, she just whinnies and goes along about her business. She’s going to be really, really fun.