Saturday, December 5, 2015

Getting To Know You...Indy

Hello.  Whatcha doing?
OK, I suck.  I admit it. A year and two months after I lost the Sug I finally tell you I've bought a
horse, and then I disappear for a month and a half.  All I can say is this is my busiest time of year at work, and between the travel and working late I'm happy just to find time to get to the barn, let alone chronicle what's going on there.

So let me catch you up... Indy and I have spent the last 6 weeks getting to know each other.  It's kinda like when you first start exclusively dating someone and you're trying to learn everything about them: Do they like coffee or tea? Spicy food or mild? Are they comfortable in large group situations or do they prefer to be more private? Cats or dogs? Football or baseball?

Here's what I've learned so far: Indy is intensely curious. You pretty much can tell that by just looking at his face, as he's got a wide-eyed "Who are you? What's going on? Are we going to do something fun?" expression.  If he's on the cross ties and sees someone outside, he all but stands on his tiptoes to see what's going on. If I go into the tack room, I come out to find him leaning forward on the ties peeking around and trying to see what I've gotten up to.  Where other horses might spook and wheel away from something new, he stops, snorts, cranes his head to get a better look at The Big Scary Thing, and is then likely to walk up and sniff it.  If we're walking somewhere, he wants to stop and investigate everything we pass by. Every.damn.thing.  He can be a little ADD in this respect; he's so interested in everything that at times it's hard for him to focus.

What's going on over there?

He loves people, and wants to be the center of attention, kinda like a big Labrador.  He reminds me of my daughter, Sophie, in that regard.  All energy, all "Hi! I'm Indy. Wanna be my friend? Wanna play? I know fun things to do. " If he's alone on the cross ties and sees someone is near he will break out every trick in the book to get their attention and entice them to come over.  If I'm next to him and my attention wanders to something else he'll nudge me until I focus on him again.  It's like the "Mom. Mom. Mommy. Ma" scene from Family Guy.  He's adorable, and I swear he uses that to his advantage when he does something naughty, just like Sophie does.  He gives you that face, the one that says, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. I just couldn't help myself. You still love me right?" It's hard to resist that kind of face.

He's a snuggle bug, and loves hugs and kisses.  He loves having the kids fuss over him, and he's got his own harem of young barn girls that dote on him.  He's started nickering to me, and not just when I come in to the barn.  After I'm done untacking and grooming him I'll put him back in his stall and then clean tack.  When I go to say goodnight before I leave he'll often give a high pitched nicker, as if he's saying, "You're back! Thank God! I was lonely!"  He sometimes does it when he's on the cross ties and I leave him to go get something, as if he's afraid I've abandoned him.

Snuggles with Sophie

The harem

We're learning how we fit together under saddle.  He's been used to someone else riding him and the way their aids were given, and now he has to figure out what I'm asking him.  Same thing for me.  It's like learning a new language.  Or driving a rental car.  When you get a rental, at first you spend a lot of time learning where the different buttons are, like the windshield wipers, gear shift, radio tuner, and the mirror adjuster doohickey.  You learn how hard you need to press on the gas pedal to get a reaction, and the same for the brakes.  You play with the wheel to see if you need to over-steer or under-steer.  Indy and I are at the rental car stage.

So that's where we are.  Getting to know each other and trying to figure out who we're going to be together.
Momma's Boy