What an absolutely picture perfect day. The weather was beautiful today, sunny, around 75 and no humidity.
I get to the barn and make the walk up to Alfie’s paddock. As I approach the gate, he picks up his head and sees that it’s me and he comes running over. This has taken over 4 years to achieve. Alfie recognizing me, Alfie eager to see me, Alfie choosing to leave his horsey herd for me. I’ve got to be honest, I never thought we would achieve this kind of love and trust.
I’m not sure what kind of life Alfie had prior to me, but I can assure you it wasn’t filled with love. From his absolutely terrifying reaction to bathing, to him being extremely defensive in his stall, to the numerous scars he has on his legs, I cringe every time my mind goes to that place, how could anyone be mean to him?
Today’s lesson was a first for us. We were going to have our lesson on the trail. It was also going to be the first time Alfie and I would complete an entire trail ride WITHOUT another horse! Several years ago, I was able to get Alfie out on the trail alone for only a handful of steps. It was literally a handful of steps. If you looked behind you, you could clearly see the barn. That took me 45 min to accomplish. I remember when we headed back to the barn how proud of myself I was. Sure, it took 45 min of asking, insisting, encouraging, and downright disagreeing with each other for me to finally get my 10 steps lol. Today was a much easier feat.
As always, my friend Jenna accompanied us to take pictures of our lesson. And my trainer Kari of course was with us. Alfie loves his Aunty Kari and Aunty Jenna so I figured he would have no issue following either one of them as we headed away from the barn. But my boy was not completely sure of himself with following them. Would they lead him into the scary swamp, or to the scary hunting shed those were some of the thoughts I’m sure were going through his head lol. But have no fear Alfie, I’m here, I’ve got your back always and I’m telling you it’s ok to walk. And he did.
As we passed the scary hunting shack which isn’t scary to Alfie anymore, Alfie let out a big exhale, he wasn’t nervous anymore being out on the trail alone. I successfully gained his trust. We made it to the end of the trail and headed back.
We worked on my half seat, leg yielding, haunches and shoulder exercises, all while out in the great outdoors. It was truly a different lesson for us, but Alfie really enjoyed it.
As my sweet boy eats his dinner, all I can do is smile with my heart so full of love for him. Yes, he is a challenge. Yes, he plays with my emotions to get out of doing things, and yes he’s got his fair share of mental and physical scars, but he’s mine and I am thankful everyday that the universe brought us together.❤️🐴