Things I Take for Granted

While I never take Frankie as a whole for granted (I’m extremely grateful every dang day for this horse), I realized recently that there are quite a few aspects of his behavior/personality that I do take for granted. These are things I can’t imagine having to handle differently, because they’re just life for us.

He likes to be groomed. He’s extremely happy with literally any type of brush I use on him, leans into the curry comb, picks his feet up for me before being asked, and genuinely enjoys the attention and feeling of being groomed. He’s not particularly sensitive, and is not at all picky about any part of the process. In fact, he’s noticeably much happier when I take extra time to groom him. It’s clearly one of his (several) love languages.

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We accept scritches and we give them in return

He walks pleasantly on a lead rope. In over 3 years of owning him and taking him to various hectic places, I have never once needed a chain to get his attention or give me some leverage. I’ve used the same plain cotton lead since day one, and it’s pretty much always loose. He is very polite whether we’re walking around the farm, walking onto any size trailer, around a busy showgrounds, or anywhere else.

Speaking of which, he walks on and off the trailer with no fuss. He’s been on 2-horse trailers, 4-horse trailers that he had to back into, commercial semi shippers. Even when there’s commotion around him due to other horses protesting the trailer, or showgrounds packing up, or airplanes flying low overhead, he ambles right on and starts munching hay.

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He especially likes when Vinnie is next to him, even if Vinnie is ambivalent about the whole thing.

And then once he’s on and off the trailer he’s an easy traveler. Even after a long trailer ride, he hops right off to get a drink of water and roll. He eats well, he drinks well, and he’s generally very happy to go for a walk and explore. He’s always very interested in his new surroundings but very rarely (if ever) anxious about them.

He will bend over backwards to make sure I’m safe. This struck me especially recently, when I went to bring a horse in from a field and she very clearly projected her intention to kick me every time I got near her with a halter. Not fun. Frankie has never once expressed any body language with even a whisper of aggression, and he has even deliberately placed himself between me and other horses that were playing rambunctiously. He’s a big horse so I handle myself with care around him, but I 100% trust that his intentions are good.

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Old picture, but I can hand him off to just about anyone and trust that he will be polite and safe with them

On a related note, his intentions in general are good. Sure, he likes to try new evasions to get out of work. But when something doesn’t quite go perfectly I know it’s because (a) I’m not asking correctly or (b) he’s not sure how to use his body in that way or (c) this is hard work for him and he’s building strength. Trusting his intentions means that we give each other some grace and I think really helps him thrive and feel proud of himself (oh jeez this is gonna be a whole other post about this one topic).

Overall, I think I take for granted what an easy horse he is. I never have to consider how he may act or feel on any given day – he has his ups and downs like anyone, but they never affect how he is to handle or how safe he is to ride. I never have to say no to anything because I don’t think he can handle the atmosphere/travel/challenge. He doesn’t require anything special to be happy (though he does really love his massages). I love that I can just show up and trust that he’ll be my trusty steed.

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Always happy to play along โค

Your turn! What do you take for granted about your mount?

 

8 thoughts on “Things I Take for Granted

  1. lauracoburn1111 11/26/2019 / 8:49 am

    Aww what a good boy he is! My young gelding is similar to Frankie – he is so quiet on the lead and in trailers that I forget that he is young (now 4). I bought him as a 3yo and we trailered him 20+ hours home with 2 yearlings and an overnight at a strange facility and he just bopped along like a seasoned show horse. And he also loves being groomed, which is a big change from my 19yo gelding who would prefer to not be touched, thanks very much! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  2. tntibbetts 11/26/2019 / 9:58 am

    You take these easy ones for granted (it’s impossible not to!) until you have one that is not easy. My old QH (he’s 26 now and I’ve owned him since was an embryo) is like Frankie. He was a PITA one time when he was a yearling about getting on a scary one-horse trailer, but never again. He went to all kinds of horse shows, moved cattle, trail rides, foxhunted, etc.
    NOW I have the world’s most complicated mare. She hates being groomed. She generally doesn’t like affection. She hates loading onto my 2 horse bumper pull. She’s 7 now and (fingers crossed) seems to be chilling out a bit (I bought her when she was 3 months old and brought her home at 6 months), but she makes me thankful every day for my easy ones!

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  3. Nadia 11/26/2019 / 11:08 am

    He’s such a good boy! It’s easy to take them for granted, or only reflect on the negative sometimes. Even at only 5, June is easy on the ground and I also only use a leather halter with a cotton lead no matter where we are. She alos loves attention, which seems out of personality for her… lol

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  4. Tracy 11/26/2019 / 12:27 pm

    It’s funny how easily you don’t realized things until they’re different. I LOVE that Niko enjoys grooming because Miles DID. NOT.

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  5. carey 11/26/2019 / 1:00 pm

    I was just thinking about this over the weekend. After a few days of rain, Cosmo still comes out of his stall the same as if he has been working the past 3 days. He might be a light frisky with a cold breeze or spook at the birds by the crossties, but that is the same regardless of how many days off he has had. We’re coming into a few weather systems over the next few weeks and I don’t have to worry if he gets an extra day stuck in his stall or only get hand walked for 40 min. All birds aside, he will be just as safe/easy/hard/enjoyable/annoying to ride as any other day.

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  6. the_everything_pony 11/26/2019 / 1:47 pm

    That was actually something I realized when I thought of getting another horse. I just love everything about Amber – although she really could load better, but I know that it’s a “me” thing that I need to teach her since…well…. I’m the one that taught her to load in the first place haha. But yeah she’s very protective of me as well, I trust her around my 3yr old niece, she tries her heart out and loves her massages, scratches, and praise. I am generally grateful every time I handle her tho, because my mom’s horse is the complete opposite, and whenever I handle her after I haven’t for a while I always need to remember “oh yeah, sorry, you don’t do/like that” lol.

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  7. Stacie Seidman 11/26/2019 / 3:25 pm

    I just love him. He’s such a good dude. I think Eros is very similar, though on occasion he does require a chain. Takes us all by surprise when that happens because he’s generally so chill. I’m not sure I take anything for granted after having some… more difficult fur kids in the past. But I do know that Frankie’s traits are ones I actually seek out now when looking for a new horsey friend. I really love to groom, so I definitely want horses that enjoy it as well.

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  8. Nicole C 11/26/2019 / 3:34 pm

    I think I’m a bit scarred by previous horses that were very difficult to handle (one lease mare scalped herself on the top of my trailer at a show because she was awful about loading) so I am always prepping for the worst. In fact, I was so nervous about bringing both of mine home to our new farm recently that I couldn’t’ sleep the week leading up to the move because I was so worried that one or both were going to do something stupid and hurt themselves. But they were both great and the transition has been so smooth. So I am always grateful and appreciative of my easy horses!

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