One of the things I love most about homeschooling…
hands on learning…
particularly Animal Science.
This post will reflect on Equine 101.
As we had to say goodbye to our little ponies a few months back for various reasons, I continued my search for a friend the girls could ride, love, and care for. A wonderful friend from our Cowboy Church gave me a name and number of a lady looking for "just the right home" for an older gelding that wanted to be "someone’s horse".
So I called and arranged a meeting, and we spent a couple of hours getting to know this beautiful creature as well as some very kind and horse-loving folks. Traci has trained and loved many horses and shared the story of Napolean with us. She explained that she "inherited" him with the ranch, and he was great for when her grandkids visited. She worked hard to fit him into her busy schedule, riding him just enough to keep his spirits up, and keep him in line. She had worked with him and taught him great manners. But she always felt he needed more. He wanted to be "someone’s horse".
The girls brushed him and groomed him, and she helped them tack him up. She graciously showed us his big heart and willing spirit as she rode him around her round pen, then put both girls and Levi on him. Her husband then tacked up her lovely mare and she showed us how well he would "pony" beside another, and even let Morgan ride her mare and pony Levi beside! Both she and her husband were very kind, and had Napoleon’s best interest at heart. I’m thankful to have met such kind folks!
After graciously spending so much time with us, she decided Napolean would be in good hands with us, and of course we were all smitten with this boy. At about 13 hands, he’s not too big, but being a Quarter horse/Welsh cross, he’s got a very large thick body on stocky short legs.
He’s gentle and loves kisses and hugs, and best part is he LOVES to be ridden. The girls were a bit afraid that he might be an old stick-in-the-mud, but soon found out he’ll run his heart out if asked. After working so hard on the ponies to get them to behave and ride, they were overjoyed to find that Napoleon was so easy to ride and neck reign. I’ve never seen such happy girls, or felt so happy myself, as owning a horse to ride was the deepest desire of my heart and soul since I can remember.
I let them get used to him before I tried him myself. I felt a little rusty, as it’s been way too long since I’ve been on the back of a horse, but something just felt so good as I rode him around the pasture.
Tayt has really enjoyed being able to ride, and spends much time on "Leon", many times during the day, and many times bareback. They ride him to the neighbor’s ranch to check on his cattle, and down the road to check the mailbox. If we’re hanging out beside a campfire, she uses him as a chair. As I’m working on the computer here, often times I can look out the window to see her taking him for a stroll around the house, LOL. I believe Tayt has found her first "true love", LOL.
Morgan is such a natural rider, and I’ve been really impressed as her skills have continued to improve. She loves Napoleon too, and has learned some pretty good negotiation skills to get her fair share of time with Leon, LOL.
We LOVE Napoleon!