Thursday, August 26, 2010

Meet the Bear

About four months ago I had to send my first horse, Sham, back to the guys we bought him from. He wasn't working out, mostly from a behavioral standpoint. He had a bit of a dangerous side.

I was grateful that the guys took him back. They said they could find a horse that would suit me better and asked for a little bit of time to do that. Easy enough, though I was more than a little disappointed to send Sham back. Sure, he was difficult, but he was my difficult horse. A short while after Sham went back, Robin and I went to the UK for a month. That helped. When I came back I spent a lot of time back on the bike. Then I crashed, with my wrist taking most of the impact.

And now, four months later, I went back to the brothers who sold us Sham. They found a possible replacement. Another bay, but a little older, a little wiser, and a whole lot more gentle. His 15 years of experience had me both excited and a little nervous. He is out of shape, and he has a bit of a gut, but he's got beautiful gaits, and he loves people.

His name is Birthday Diplomat, but he goes by Bear. It fits him nicely.

Robin met him at the barn late this morning. He came off the trailer like a gentleman and hung out while she chatted with the driver. His introduction to the herd was uneventful. Unlike Sham, he won't be the leader of the herd, but neither will he get picked on. He's got too much experience for that.

Head mare Star and pretty high gelding Steen give Bear the sniff from both sides.

I went out in the afternoon to see how things were going. The flies were bugging him, but we came equipped with a mask. All they had was leopard print, unfortunately. But it should serve its purpose.

Hopefully it gets really dirty soon. But Bear should feel better knowing that Schooley the 20 year old ex-racehorse has the same one.

In the arena he hung out with us like he's been living here for years. It was a great sign, and very relaxing. One of the things I love about Steen is how easy he is to hang out with. Steen was so rough around the edges that it took many, many months to get that. It feels nice to have a horse that is willing to hang out with you on day one.

And this weekend I'm looking forward to hitting the trails with Bear. Updates to follow.

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