A few months ago, we welcomed Rascal into our big HCEC family. Rascal taught countless numbers of young riders in her school horse career and you could hardly find a better partner to start your horseback riding journey. Being caring, patient, and forgiving she quickly earned her new name – Raspberry. With so much experience under her belt, it was a bit surprising to find out that Raspberry felt insecure inside the barn. This is where our veteran Az was a great help.
Raspberry and Az share the same paddock during the day. Az has not had many horse friends over the years as he is incredibly picky about who he spends time with. But, when he met Raspberry, he decided they would be best friends – he just had to convince her. He spent the first few days they were together tiring himself out by patiently and quietly following her around all day until she accepted him. They became a great elderly couple; caring for each other, having very few cranky couple moments and, it seems, not imagining their lives without each other.
In early summer, when we let our horses graze around the property, we witnessed something incredible. Raspberry and Az continued to hang out together while grazing with Az making sure his lady was not being disturbed by other horses. Around noon, Az would lead the way to his indoor stall to check if his dinner was ready. Raspberry trusted Az and accepted his leadership but the first time he went into the barn she was very cautious and hesitant to even set one foot inside. Day by day she has become more and more comfortable following Az into the barn and wandering around. Last week, she even decided to hide from insects inside – and that was her decision!
Sometimes, as owners and riders, we struggle to get our horses to accept the situations they need to accept. Sometimes it is the patient, non-judging example of one of their own kind that can make all the difference in the world.