Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Aidol's Story....... Mr Personality

Part 1

Lindsay's recovery took years and pretty much consumed all aspects of our lives. Our plans for our horses were put on hold except for those things that intertwined with Lindsay's needs and keeping me sane.

We had Lindsay back up on a horse before she could really support herself on her own. Since Aidol wasn't broke enough for such duty, the Arabian horse pretty much just hung out.

It wasn't until Lindsay's chemotherapy was done as well as her twice weekly appointments for physical, occupational and speech therapies that there was any time to even think about spending any real time with horses again. That's when I began working on teaching Aidol how to do trail obstacles.

Looking Back................ Aidol , the series about that incident led to this series about Aidol's life. Obviously after that injury Aidol's training went back onto hold and once again he became a pasture ornament.

Only once I was out the other side of the healing and physical therapy did I have time to attempt anything with Aidol again. By then the horse was old enough he could no longer be shown as a junior horse. That meant the horse needed to be put into the full bridle (curb bit) to be shown western pleasure.

At that time I had never taught a horse how to wear the curb bit. I also hadn't really paid much attention to that transition when I'd worked as I grow. With only the knowledge the trainers at the show barn had transitioned their young horses by using a kimberwick first, I was reluctant to jump in and attempt this afraid I'd mess things up.

Scandalous needed to be put into the bridle as well, and I was dragging my feet with her. She had already been ridden in the kimberwick and was ready for the next step. Not being comfortable with that step, I was stalling. Getting myself to work through my fear about the transition into the bridle wasn't getting me anywhere near what I needed to be able to do with Aidol. As a result Aidol again was on the back burner.

At the time we'd bought Aidol one of the junior riders in the barn had been really upset by it. I'd heard about her claims we didn't deserve to have such a great horse as Aidol. Now as getting the horse back into the show ring kept getting pushed aside those words haunted me.

Not being confident in myself as a rider, I wondered if indeed this kid's words had been true. Maybe I didn't deserve Aidol or any of the other horses that I had. Maybe I didn't belong in Arabian horses in the first place. Fortunately for me my horses didn't seem to think I didn't belong. Just being around them could quiet my fear and make me forget my inexperience.

Aidol was a great teacher for me about horses and life in general. Whenever I'd be around the horse on one of my "down days" Aidol would give me a firm push with his nose. The twinkle in his eye clearly said "Come on. Get with the program, Let's have some fun." Then the horse would do something silly like raid my pockets or find something for me to retrieve. Training this human to be a good horse slave was a priority to Aidol. He could make me laugh on the worst of days.

Aidol was an energetic horse. No one told him that horses are supposed to be lazy. Aidol was always looking for something to do, some kind of trouble to get into or some new form of entertainment.

Originally this property we live on was like a park in the forest. There were fir trees everywhere and a seasonal creek runs across the back portion of the property with the appropriate underbrush. There was always something Aidol could find to entertain himself.

It was not unusual to find the horse out jumping over downed logs or dragging fallen limbs from across the creek. The horse would lope around in a tiny circle dragging one of his prizes like it was all choreographed. In his mind the horse had a plan even if we humans didn't know what it was.

The blackberries that are continually trying to encroach from the neighbors were the horse's "private" candy store during berry season. He only allowed his other horse buddies to partake during the heaviest part of the season. Otherwise he ran the others off, not letting them on the other side of the creek at all. The horse was taking no chances he wouldn't get his fill before the berries were all gone.

Aidol loved dogs but NOT in his pasture. If one strayed in, the horse loved racing after it, striking at it with both front feet. He never hurt one and I'm sure that was only because he never intended to do so. Aidol was just training the dogs they didn't belong in his field.

To be continued...................

Dave's Lesson

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  1. Aidol really does sound like one special horse and a real character. It's hard not to listen to other opinions when we're starting out but I'm glad you didn't and in the end it has worked out for you with the Arabian horses. Horses seem to know what we need and I'm happy you had them to get through your personal crisis.

  2. I once pastured a horse in an apricot orchard. She ate her fill. But I never knew they would eat berries.
    Cute that he protected his turf.

  3. I would never have guessed that a horse would eat berries right off the bush. We had a rottweiler once that would eat peas off the plants. It's funny what animals will eat sometimes.

  4. Am enjoying Aidol's story.So glad you found your way, rather than listening to others. This can be difficult and I am always shocked at the number of people ready to intrude on the relationship others may have with their horses. I have encountered some of the same and I am always taken aback.
    Will see you soon,
    Terri Baker

  5. Arlene, Aidol is definitely a character in a long line of them here. I'm glad we found horses too. They have certainly healed our family.

    Molly, Apricots, now I didn't know horses would eat those but then I guess fruits and vegetables both are on their menu. LOL

    Smazourek, yep, Aidol's not the only one around here to eat blackberries. They are a regular feast for most my herd in usually late August. There are usually tell tale pieces of stickers in their manes and tails as well as purple stains on their lips.

    Terri, glad you're enjoying Aidol's story. Even though I didn't really get to show him, he was fun just living with him.

    As for that kid with her comment, I've learned over the years people who do such things are usually pretty unhappy people. I feel sorry for them now.