Kim’s home!

Hurray! Kim came home today from her vacation, full of stories from Alaska. After getting caught up a bit and taking care of some chores, we headed out to the barn to see Bob.

I took along the 30# bucket of Purina Amplify ($28 and change after discount) that I had picked up at Champion Feed earlier today (still out of longeing cavessons). Lucky for me, they were having a 20% off sale for just about everything in the store—except feed. Lucky for me, they gave me 20% off anyway, and a $5 off coupon for the next time I shop there. Too cool! I like this place—especially because they are always happy to see me and they always seem to have enough staff to help everyone out.

Kim had never been to Abiding Acres before and she’d only seen Bob once before she left on vacation. Bob has had lots of bonding time with me this week, so I was a little concerned. Was Bob a one-person horse? Nope. Bob proved perfectly capable of stealing Kim’s heart, too.

I showed Kim the ropes around the stable and introduced her to Bob’s herd. We met another one of the feeders there, whose name escapes me (but I know Apple is her horse!). Kim was delighted with the roaming chickens and just generally liked the place, as do I. It’s not your typical boarding stable.

Kim and I went over some basic groundwork and I had her practice while I went to grab a longe line to give Bob a bit of badly needed exercise. She did great, and so did Bob.

Longeing, on the other hand, didn’t go so well. I just couldn’t get him going to the left. I finally tried going to the right and got him going on that after a few tries. Earlier this week, he was much easier to longe to the left. We did some walking, then a little trotting, and finally a bit of cantering, then back down to a trot and then a walk—with a few stops thrown in for good measure. He did pretty well, although he was very reluctant to canter.

Time to try going to the left again. Nope. We just ended up playing the let’s-go-in-circles-around-each-other-game. I was determined to salvage something from this session so that Bob wouldn’t get the “win”. So, we went back to ground tying. Finally, a victory! We got 20+ seconds of standing with me about 20 feet away on the longe line. After a couple of repeats, I decided to declare victory and leave. Kim was very, very patient through all of this (thanks, dear!)

Kim led him over to the cross-ties and we did a quick bit of grooming together. I gave Bob a trial taste of Amplify, and he gave it two ears up. I showed Kim how to clean his hooves, and then it was time for us to leave.

Dinner at the Dusty Spur Pizza Co. in Independence capped off a pleasant evening.

About Mike

Michael Heggen is a horseman, maker, and thinker who lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife, Kim, and "three to eight cats". He stays quite busy riding, driving, and caring for their three horses, Boulder, Shasta, and Bob. Among other things, Mike has been a fencing coach, police chaplain, computer consultant, aspirant to the diaconate, computer salesman, box boy, carpenter, computer technician, typesetter, church youth leader, copy machine operator, and network administrator. His other interests include juggling, reading voraciously, and (pretty occasionally these days) cycling.
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