Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mooses do the Darndest Things

This is Moose.

I really need to get updated pictures of Moose. Maybe I will this weekend.... But, he pretty much looks the same--except taller. If that boy knows how to do anything, he knows how to grow. While he's tall, he's not the tallest colt I've ever seen (his sister, in fact, is a touch taller), but what makes him so unbelievably big is his mass. Home boy is living large...literally.

Moose was born April 12, 2010. So...that makes him roughly eight months old. I've had him since he was two months old, but as I've walked him through the beginning stages of his life (weaning, halter-breaking, training to tie, load, etc), I've learned that Moose is definitely a horse of a different color.

And I'm not talking about the color of his coat.

On an evening a few weeks ago I got off work a little early, raced home, threw on my work clothes and ran out to go saddle Paula up in an attempt to get a lesson in before the sun set on what was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Before Paula and I made our way to the roundpen, I let Fabian and Moose out of their pen by the old barn. The boys made their way to far gate, the one that seperates the large turn-out areas to the north and south. I decided to go ahead and open up the gate to the other side of the place, because all the horses on one side wanted to be on the other side (of course, like all horses, dogs, and cats always want to do). At this point I didn't care--they could go where ever and entertain themselves while Paula and I got to work.

Moose came in where the roundpen is and watched most of the lesson from just outside the roundpen, just as calm as could be. Meanwhile, Fabian was doing his Seabiscuit impersonation, running around as fast as he could and getting Bambi and Betty all worked up. Moose didn't join in--he just sat there and watched. Paula was a little hyper but once I got on her she did fine and we mostly worked on a lot of pivots, etc.--just little stuff we could do before it got too dark.

We finished our short lesson and by then Moose was up by the water tank, on the wrong side of the fence. I figured I'd just get his halter and go get him after I was done with Paula. I unsaddled Paula, brushed her, and put her and the girls into their pen. Fabian was still playing and running around by the entrance of his pen, but Moose was still on the wrong side of the fence. I went into the old barn to grab his halter, but when I walked around the corner of the barn, here was Moose just leisurely strolling up to the gate of his pen.

Now, it's nothing special for a horse to figure out where to go at dinner time. Much like the male of our own species, their actions are dictated by their stomachs. Serve it in a dish and they will come.

However, given the circumstances, it was amazing that Moose had arrived to this point. He had to figure out to go clear down that row, through the barely open gate, then come walking clear back up WHILE Fabian was still doing his Seabiscuit impression. The girls, meanwhile (who he was actually closer to) were pacing and calling for their feed. MASS chaos and Moose strolled up like someone was leading him. I opened the gate and he walked right through it as calm as could be.

I have never had a horse figure out how to get through two different gates while other horses were acting nuts, even if it was feeding time. Plus, he had only been in this pen for 2 days! It's not like we had this routine for a month. I had seperated everyone only two days before, when their roundbale ran out.

Maybe it was a you-had-to-be-there thing but I had to pick my jaw up off the ground! He's a different kind of horse, that's for sure. I'm a little afraid he might be brilliant, which, of course, is very good but also means I have to be very, very careful. What a funny horse he is, though.....



Anonymous said...

Smart boy - and you're right, he'll be learning lots of things - including the things you didn't mean to teach him!

Nicole said...

Wow, you gotta love that... Horses are the greatest, that's for sure!

Jessie McCandless said...

That's exactly right, Kate! I will have to be careful that I don't inadvertently teach him bad things LOL.

Horses definitely are great, Nicole. I really can't imagine my life without them :)

smazourek said...

Maybe you should rename him Einstein ;)

He will be quite interesting to train but at least he'll keep you creative! (not that I know if you want to be kept creative or not, but he'll probably force it)

He might be a candidate for trick training just to keep his mind active.

Jessie McCandless said...

Shannon, he's already keeping me on my toes! He's usually very easy-going but he has a BIG problem with me picking up his front right foot. Any other one is ok, just not THAT one! LOL So....I know he knows better, he knows I know better, and I know he knows I know he knows better. It's a trial of wills at this point. I hate to tell him this, but I always win. LOL