Sunday, November 20, 2011

Siblings, But Not Carbon Copies

Three pretty ponies, Stormkite, Dee and Starlight, ready for some action.
Stormkite is starting to show that, while he is Dee’s full brother, he is not Dee.    

For instance, Dee has tons of excess energy, so our longeing sessions often start out with her just burning it off.  She knows “walk,” she really does, but at first she has so much energy that she just won’t hear it.  So, usually I push her until she asks me to slow down, and then we focus on compliance, energy suitably burned.

Stormkite, on the other hand, generally starts on the longe at a walk.  He sniffs the ground, mosies around with kind of a thud, thud, thud that makes me think he may be the first pony in my barn that someone actually has to push to get “forward.”   Hudson, a drafty beast, is a slow walker, but ask for more than that, and she thinks she’s Zenyatta.  Dee will run all day, I suspect; Starlight has oodles of get-up-and-go and DeCato, well, she was hard to get off the mark when I was riding her, but once she did, she had a delightful, forward stride.

Ask Stormkite for a trot, and he’ll give it.  He’ll need encouragement to get going, but then he will usually stay in that trot on his own until asked for something else, which is nice.  And, being a young boy, he does bring lots of play to the game.   He’ll sometimes offer me the excited, “let’s play tag” posture you’ll see from a couple of horses goofing around in the pasture, an offer which I, curmudgeon that I am, immediately decline and also discourage.   I don’t feel like playing the way a young gelding plays!
Stormkite, nonchalant, as my hubby runs a chainsaw nearby (look just above his butt)

Dee, these days, isn’t fazed by tarps and bags of cans and other rattly things, but it took her a few years of practice and maturity to get that way, and she can still overreact when surprised.  Stormkite, on the other hand, longed, walk-trot, for me yesterday while my husband ran his chain saw about 30 yards away. 

I like that.  I have a feeling, once I get him going under saddle, Stormkite might be a fun Pony Club horse for some young girl or boy.   To me, that’s the ultimate job for a pony, to be that special mount for a horse-crazy kid who is learning the important practice of horsemanship, a pony who tolerate mistakes and is game for all the wild requests a kid might ask: gymkhana, jumping, hunts, swimming, racing her friend’s pony, one or two attempts at Roman riding (then six to eight weeks off). 

I hope he gets there, and I hope, when he does, his kid is ready for him, whoever she is.

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