Friday, October 8, 2010

Hail to the Chief

I haven't done an Akindale update in awhile, so here we are!

I am working with three horses now - Paris and Chief, who you've met, but you haven't met Casey yet. (Ironic that we share the same name, eh?) Friend's Case is a new horse I'm working with, and I'll do a profile on her soon.

But let's do a little chat about Chief. Who is one of the funniest horses I've ever met.

Now, if you'll remember, Chief is only 3, and he's never been ridden before. Having someone on his back is a completely foreign concept. Some horses absolutely freak out, bucking, bolting, and carrying on. What did Chief do?

He posed for the camera, that's what.

In all seriousness, Chief was thoroughly amused that the lady who feeds him umpteen carrots and sings, "Heeeeere, Chiefy-chooooo!" in the field to him was sitting on his back. He was fascinated with the fact that my boots were in snuffling and nibbling distance. He would bend his head and grab the reins like a puppy grabs his own leash, loving this new game.

But he wouldn't go. When you ask a horse to move forward, you squeeze with your legs. Most horses being ridden for the first time will feel that sensation and shoot forward, almost as if you have an open tube of toothpaste between your knees and you squeeze it.

When I would squeeze Chief and say, "Walk," Chief would crane his head around and either give me a quizzical look, or snuffle my boot as if to say, "Why are you doing that?"

I soon learned I could do a salsa on his back, and he wouldn't care.

With maracas.

And a Chiquita Banana hat. (Over my helmet of course.)

To be honest, these photos were taken yesterday, and it was my third ride on Chief. I was delighted that after some coaxing, we were off!

Chief made faces the whole time, the little comedian that he is. But you can see the grin on my face, as he finally had his "aha!" moment and he moved forward on his own.

I was so pleased!

I also think it's obvious that I love this horse. He is just so game for anything, and so steady and willing for a horse this young.

Chief will also be featured at Akindale's Family Fun Day on October 17th. You can come and meet him in person and support a fantastic rescue all at the same time! There will also be a signup sheet there for the Chief fan club.
Because you might want to get in line....this boy is going to melt some hearts!


Aislinn said...

I can't wait to meet Chief! Such a beautiful story.

Catherine said...

Consider my heart melted. :-)

Arliss said...

Love this post, and love the pic of the neck-hug. I got to meet Chief in person today, and let me say for the record, I ADORE THIS HORSE! He is personality-plus. What a cutie.