Chance’s weekend outings

I am so proud of Chance tonight I’m absolutely on cloud 9. I signed him up for an in-hand trail desensitization clinic recently, and then I stopped to think… he’s not exactly weaned, he’s never been hauled without his mama, and last time I tried to bring him in the arena with another horse he was completely unmanageable – not exactly ideal clinic material! I figured I ought to make sure he’ll at least be safe for the clinic, so a friend came this weekend, picked us up, and hauled us to a ranch up the hill about 7 miles. It’s a beautiful brand-new facility on 320 acres on a dead-end road, and since it’s new, there are just the owner’s 3 horses and 2 of my friend’s that she brought down. Chance loaded and unloaded just fine yesterday, and I tried to put him in a stall while we unloaded our tack – that did not go well! As soon as I started to walk away from the stall, up went Chance in a very tall rear. He’s a huge horse anyway, so when he struck out, his hoof hit very near the top of the bars – pretty darn scary! I turned him out in the arena to let him calm down, and he just trotted around and screamed for awhile. After he settled down enough to focus, my friend brought her Quarter Horse yearling out into the arena – this little guy is about half Chance’s size and 100x his attitude. Sweet Chancey clacked his baby teeth in submission at this much smaller much younger new friend and promptly got nipped on the nose… twice. Anyway, I worked Chance in hand in the arena while my friend worked her yearling, and he was fantastic! He minded his manners and listened even when the yearling had a temper tantrum. After that, we walked outside, around the barn, and out in the pasture where the creek runs. Despite the freezing cold and sleet, we dedicated owners of young horses plunged right into that icy creek with our charges! Chance figured it out right away and waded in:

After that, my friend got out her older horse and started riding. The yearling was throwing another temper tantrum, and the horse being ridden was trotting and cantering around, and still Chance was a perfect gentleman! I was so proud of him 🙂  We loaded up and hauled him home overnight, and boy was Natty happy to see him! I bet this was the first time she’s ever had her baby taken away and then brought back to her.

This morning, we loaded back up and off we went for another day of fun and learning! The sun came out, and it was just a lovely morning. Chance settled right down this morning. We went back to the creek right off the bat, and he waded in without me, so I guess he learned that lesson well. Then we went for a walk in a cleared area near the pasture with Chance’s little yearling friend. We had to walk a little ways up the road to get there, and there was a very frisky neighbor horse running around the pasture across the road, but Chance was a perfect angel. Here are some pictures – you can see how relaxed he is.

The lighting is no good, but here he is waiting for his outing with the saddle horse. Apparently he is happy as a clam to stand tied but comes unglued when left loose in a stall – go figure.

We headed up the road the other way – we didn’t see any traffic all day, which is so nice! The barn owner told us there was a trail head at the end of the road, so we went looking. Here we are passing the cattle pasture on the way. He saw some cows pretty close up and also a few more stranger horses came to their fences to greet us as we walked by.

Right in from the trail head we encountered another creek, and this one  had a large piece of dangerous-looking trash on the edge of the trail. Some kindly soul had spray-painted it bright orange because God forbid anyone should miss the horse-eating monster standing in our way! Chance didn’t spook, but he did balk for just a minute while he looked things over – then he tramped on across the creek with me. He was an absolutely perfect angel from there on out – we walked for a couple of hours, and there was not one spook, no pulling, no running me over – he just could not have behaved any better than he did. We walked in the front and also followed the other horse, and there were places where we could walk the 2 horses side by side as well. Then there were tight overgrown tunnel-like sections, and he did fine with all of it. I am so thrilled with him and the beautiful walk on the perfect day 🙂

My little trail-blazer (he’s not really dragging, I just had to run ahead to snap the picture)



2 Responses to “Chance’s weekend outings”

  1. Kathleen Says:

    We are all so very proud of our Chancey-Boy! You are a braver woman than me, I started out the gate once w/Becca, she balked and we both went right back in! Chance is going to continue to become more and more outstanding.

  2. Aunt Georgia Says:

    Chance really is beautiful.

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