In the process of this attempt to downsize, I had an inquiry from a woman interested in two horses. She wanted one experienced enough for a beginner and another just well started.
I am very adamant that all horses shown as riding horses are ridden for the interested party before that person rides. I would never consider buying a riding horse without that assurance the horse is safe so I sure wouldn't expect anyone coming here should receive anything less. That presented me with a problem because I was in no condition to ride.
The young woman, Jessica Mcgehee Thompson, who had worked for Richard Galarza had recently appeared on the scene so I called her to see if she could ride these horses for me. Since she claimed to be dying for a horse fix, she jumped at the chance to do this favor for me. She would be able to groom, tack and ride any horses the woman decided she wanted to see under saddle.
We got a date arranged that worked for all of us and the woman arrived at my farm with about a nine year old daughter in tow. We visited some as we viewed horses in their stalls before deciding that Percy was the horse she was most interested in for herself and Dandy for her daughter although he really was not on my list to move.
It had been nearly two years since anything was done with Percy. He was one of the geldings started by Richard to suck me into the deal to defraud me out of Storm. Once the papers were in his hands much of the work stopped. By Regionals of that year, very little more had been done so Percy and the others were barely green broke. Between the lawsuit and my illness that's were it stayed.
My barns are all small. The first one is the only one with an area suitable for tacking up horses. The aisle is twelve feet wide and thirty-six feet long but the back portion of it is taken up with galvanized cans with feed sitting next to stairs to the small loft. That leaves the center area of the aisle as the location of my cross ties.
One side of that barn has three stalls, the other only one at the front. The rest of that side has a workshop and storage. It is partitioned off so its contents aren't visible from the aisle way with only a doorway width opening for entrance to that area. In front of that portion, on the actual aisle I have two large Rubbermaid cabinets that hold my grooming and medicinal supplies. Next to them is a saddle stand that partially blocks the entrance to the storage area and across from that is a small bank of drawers about two feet tall. That makes adequate but not generous room for tacking up a horse while still accommodating a person or two in a safe way.
In addition to all of this, there was a tack trunk that I've been meaning to refurbish for at least ten years. It sits front of the stall on that side and by it was my wheelchair so I could be there to supervise without wearing myself out so badly that I wouldn't have anything left for the actual riding.
If all of this description of my barn aisle has not made your head spin, then you aren't getting a true picture of my it. The layout works for me but it is really not designed for the typical horse or the average horse owner.
As I imagine most of you know, not all people who own horses really understand safe behavior around them. That is one of the reasons I expect my horses to have good people skills. I also believe the horses need to be exposed to as much as possible so they can deal with whatever life might throw their way. My farm is set up to assure that kind of training happens.....often
Like all of Legs' babies, Percy has a great mind. The gap in his training meant nothing to him. He handled the commotion of the fidgety child and the rather large and hovering woman in my little congested barn like he dealt with those kinds of issues every day.
I watched as the woman spoke with huge, sweeping arm gestures while standing just to the right of the horse's head. At the same time her daughter was trying to balance on the rim of a hole in the concrete floor about eight feet in front of him. The hole is not deep but just enough irregularity to attract the attention of a bored child wanting attention and she was milking it for all it was worth.
The combination of these two could have made many horses throw up their heads and pull back in the cross ties....but not Percy. He was so happy to be the center of attention he just soaked it all in like it was all part of the glory he deserved.
To be continued.......
The Demonstrations Ride