Quiet Days of Early Summer

May 29, 2008 at 2:10 pm 1 comment

So, it’s been pretty quiet here recently- since the “Oh My God, he’s WAAAY too quiet, this is suspicious!” vetting, there hasn’t been much for us to do.  Klondike has had some time to himself, awaiting new shoes (on hinds) and his new home (he will be leaving us soon).  And there’s only so many “hey, look how amazing he looks now!” posts I can do.  Which leaves me to write a little bit about other awesome CANTER horses.

Allie dragged me, kicking and screaming, to one of the farms where the thoroughbreds convalesce and get into trouble after they’re done racing (and before they are put back to work).  It’s sort of like a therapy session- no where else in the known universe are so many beings so excited to see you.  They jostle and beg for attention, demanding scratches, love, and things to play with. 

First up is Mikey.  Mikey is a rock star of a thoroughbred, who broke a sesamoid and went on to win that race.  Now, he’s fat and sassy (and looking awfully sound).  To the point where the farm managers have put a muzzle on him so that he doesn’t appear to be pregnant with twins. 

Mikey is a love, and immediately knows when people are there to see him.  He’s also fortunate to be in a turnout group of mostly not CANTER ponies, so he gets all the attention when there are visitors.  Last night, he was thinking he was pretty lucky, as there were two of us, one to scratch each side of his neck. 

The next field over, however, is a different story.  That’s where we meet Truckee and Bid, who are both class clowns and completely convinced they deserve ALL the attention, ALL the time.  As soon as they realized we were walking in the field, they made a beeline for us, Truckee (the bay) in the lead. 

I’m not sure if they really, really love people, or they’re just bored with standing around stuffing themselves with some of the best grass I’ve ever seen in Maryland, but it seems they are very amused by us, and are perfectly willing to follow us all over the field.  In any case, they are particularly fascinated by anything we might have with us- whether it’s a camera, or in this case, a random thing I found on the ground that appears to belong to one of the grazing muzzles.  The Thing was promptly removed from my possession so that they could play a game of keep away with it.

In addition to stealing stuff for games, one of Bid’s other favorite activities is simply to make sure he is getting all the available love at all times.  See that pretty bay with the blaze (aka “Punch”)?  Two seconds earlier, I had been giving him attention.  But as soon as Bid realized he was not the center of attention, and there was a camera, he wasted no time in marching over and somehow obtaining the scratching hand for himself.  He managed this several times, either trying to deprive his herdmates of scratchins, or simply trying to get more camera time.  He’s like an equine Lindsay Lohan (except in better weight, with a more natural looking tan).







 I’m pretty sure Truckee and Bid are the biggest Equine clowns I’ve ever seen. I’ve been joking about turning my horse into a trick horse, and starting a Travelling Circus for Not-Entirely-Useful Equines, and I’m pretty sure these guys can do the comedy act.  No real training necessary, as all they need are a few props, and a few people to chase around for attention.  I’m thinking this can be a HUGE moneymaking opportunity, so investors?  Call me.

The other horses seem sort of amused by the antics of the clowns.  Not as aggressive about courting attention,  they are content to wait their turn, hoping that the clowns will be done monopolozing us soon.  Which they’re not, of course- they never are. 

I also got to meet for the first time a very sweet horse named Whisper.  He is here for some convalescence- a while back he hurt himself pretty badly on the track- a fracture in a hind leg- and through CANTER was adopted to someone who loved him very much.  Of course, life has a way of throwing curveballs, and because of a particularly nasty one, Whisper has come back to CANTER. 

This guy may be the polar opposite of the two attention hungry fools profiled earlier.  He’s a more quiet type- if he were a person, you might say he’s the introspective kid, who is sort of shy but also sort of wants to be in the “in crowd” at the same time.  For a while he sort of stood on the fringes, watching the love fest going on, before we went over and started loving on him too. 

When you do approach him, he has a very quiet demeanor- he doesn’t beg for attention or demand it, he just stands quietly and enjoys it.  He seems very kind, the kind of horse you would run to when you’re having a bad day, because he would just stand with you and let you lean on him (and he may even lean back, just a little). 

Though he’s a different color (and breed, ha!), there’s something about him that reminds me of the scene from “The Black Stallion” where the Black is simply standing at the window, looking out at the rain.  Everything in that scene has that quiet, composed feel to it- not truly sad, but just introspective. 

It might just be that he’s not really integrated with the larger group yet and it’s still a new environment for him, but being around him sort of puts me in that mood too. 

It’s pretty fascinating, really, how different and unique each horse is from the other.  Whisper might be my favorite right now, just because his mood matched mine, but it’s impossible not to get a great sense of joy from watching the antics of the clowns, too.  Some people have said the CANTER horses are really lucky (and in truth, they are. Do you SEE that grass?!?), but I think really we’re the lucky ones, because we get to be around them. 

I need to make it a point to get out there more… 🙂




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He’s Too Quiet! Horseman’s Law, Part II

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kristin  |  May 29, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    What a bunch of cuties! They all seem so happy to be out there grazing and enjoying the sun. I definitely think CANTER horses realize how lucky they are, and you can tell they’re grateful =]


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