I got up this morning and when I let the dogs out I saw Fabian wandering around the driveway. I was disappointed but got my coat and shoes on, grabbed a halter and hobbled out there, expecting all the horses to be out since Fabian sticks pretty close to the girls--he's such a big baby :) I was surprised to see he was out all alone, but thankful that the fence was still up--he must have just slept too close to the fence or something and ended up on the other side.
The bad part was that I hadn't worked with Fabian much before my injury--I had haltered him a handful of times and really only let him out on his own once. I really didn't want to find out how much of his training had sunk in when I can barely walk--if Sophie jumps on my leg it almost knocks me down right now, so I headed over to grab Paula, thinking if I led her out he'd follow her back in. She's my old reliable :)
Fabian was just wandering around and since it still hurts to walk much I started talking to him, hoping he wouldn't go any further. When I called his name he turned around and looked at me, then took off running straight for the gate to the pasture he escaped from. Now he has NEVER been through that gate--I originally had him in the pasture south of that one and while I was down for the count that middle fenceline broke and he ended up in the other pasture, so I just left them all together and just picked up the wire since I still can't do much. Somehow he just figured out on his own that was where he was supposed to go in! He waited patiently for me to get there and open up the gate. All this fencing is temporary until the ground thaws, so my gates are actually panels that only open up one way, so Fabian had to back up, turn left and then immediately right to get through the gate and he did it all on his own, as calmly as an old gelding. He is just really, really cool. I gave him a good pat and locked the gate, double checked my electric fence and went inside. He is going to make such an awesome, fun gelding! He's so laid back, but obviously no dead head! :)
Then a little later I get a comment on myspace from Kelly about Eddie:
"Jessie, I have to take a moment and let you know what an outstanding job you have done with Eddie. He has been nothing but a perfect GENTLEMEN with Cupie and she was putty in his hooves, LOL! He has to be one of the best stallions I have ever worked with during breeding!!! We will tease Cupie again tomorrow and possibly cover her again and then it will be on to the big girl (Bambi). I am SO excited... I pray that Cupie & Eddie's foal will top mom's earnings of over 9K in one year and with Bambi adding yet another WC Halter foal to their names!!Thanks again for everything,HUGE HUGS,Kelly, Eddie & Miss Rita!"
I appreciate Kelly's kind words but it's Eddie--it really is. He is the most amazing animal I've ever known. Kelly and I both think he's a person trapped in a horse's body! LOL! We have learned so much together, though. I taught him his manners and what was appropriate breeding behavior versus what was dangerous and unacceptable, and he taught me so much about stallion behavior--behavior I was able to apply to getting a well known stallion to live cover for the first time in 15 years. Without what I learned from Eddie I would have never been able to handle the stallions I have these past few years. Eddie is truly a one of a kind guy, and to know that he's maintaining those manners away from home makes me so proud of him!! I know there's people out there that do not believe a stallion has much influence on his foal's temperament (nurture v. nature argument) but Eddie's babies all really do have fabulous temperaments and Fabian's little almost-human reasoning skills he showed this morning is a great example!
I was doing pretty good this afternoon--my leg pain is isolated to my calf and ankle now and its intermittent, so I took a walk and got to visit all the "kids." Charity still doesn't know what to think of us all here--all my pocket ponies vie for attention and while she's very sweet and friendly, she looks like she thinks all my horses are a bunch of nerds LOL. She's really as cute as could be and I can't say I won't miss her when she goes home. Baby was so busy eating she didn't notice me at first, but with a mouthful of grass she soaked up the attention. Bambi came sauntering over like she was disappointed I didn't go to her first. She's such a good girl--she really enjoys getting scratched but doesn't try to push me over. Fabian came up to see what was going on and even he got into the scratching :) I then went over to see Paula, who can get a little strong (we'll need to work on that--I've been bad and spoiled her too much after all that mess, but now's the time to get back to work). Thankfully they are all in very good shape. They've lost a little bloom without their grain and supplements, but are keeping their overall weight up surprisingly well. I sure lucked out having this terrific brome grass when I got injured--they've been safe and well fed even when I couldn't even get to my door let alone the pasture. The fence needs mending and everyone is in desperate need of a good grooming, but this all went about as good as it possibly could have, given the situation. That being said, though, I can't wait to get healthy and back out there, enjoying the coming spring days with my wonderful horses :)))