Sunday, September 2, 2012

It Was a Good Day

Sunday September 2 2012

He's a funny horse… BIG personality, always expecting royal treatment (in the form of food and treats), always has to be in charge, bossy, generally having a very high opinion of himself. I nicknamed him The Opinionator. You get on best with him when you make him think everything is his idea…

Like when you want him to take a trail that turns away from home, and he doesn't want to go that way, you make him think that he really wants to take the Away Trail, by steering him wide the wrong way, then telling him what a GOOD BOY he is for choosing the correct Away Trail as he accidentally finds himself on it. Then he puffs himself up like a peacock because it was, after all, really his idea to take the Away Trail, and he's hearing, "Good Boy!"

I'm Connie's jockey when she's away, so I keep Finneas fit in Connie's absences. Usually the first time I take him out after he's had some time off, he's pretty enthusiastic on the trail, only objecting at the start to having to go out on the trail, and occasionally objecting if we turn onto one of those Away Trails. Today was his ride back after some time off, and not only was he agreeable to going out, he was completely ardent about it.

He took charge from the beginning, marching out away from home on the trail, trotting or cantering whenever he could, agreeing to turn even further away from home out on Spring Ranch Road, and then cantering all the way back up the wash - all uphill, some of it in sand - working hard. I let him roll because it was all his idea. He worked so hard, I let him choose the trails home, and pick his speed - which was still trotting and cantering, not because we were headed home, but just because he felt so good.  

And icing on the cake of this good ride was that Finneas found not only the water bottle that Sarah lost on her last ride here, but a red-tailed hawk wing feather.

It was the best ride ever on Finneas!


  1. The having to trick him into 'picking' the away trail sounds like something I have to do with Ozzy. Love this entry.

  2. Hello Merri! It sounds indeed familiar to try and make the horse think it was its own idea:) I loved this post!


  3. Connie says: I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEE my PHinneas ,(I spell it like that when he is good) he is a grandson of the Black stallion you know, doesn't the world no by now, he does have alot to live up too, and thank god you tolerate him enough to keep him from turning into Goodyear blimp when i am not around! and your not going to believe this but I lost the feather too!!I put it under my saddle pad, Sarah said I probably would!SO thanks for cleaning up after us!!!!! and riding my beloved heart horse

  4. It's great when you can work out how to encourage them to do something - and sounds like a lovely ride!

  5. What a great nickname! And, what a great horse. The superior attitude seems to go well with some superior physical attitude as well.