dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, July 1, 2022

Early Signs

 Quaid left Alberta early Friday morning. The initial estimate was Tuesday, which seemed optimistic to me. In the end it was Thursday. While waiting is hard, he had time to stop and overnight in some barns and an easy ride is way better than a fast one. 

Pick up was 11:30 in Truro, at the stock yard (I had to google where it was) which was a little over a 2 hour drive from us. So Ed and I left fairly early to have time to gas up and be early. Which we were. There was a sheep auction going on which normally would have fascinated me (I've never been to an auction) but who could settle?! Not me. Ed grabbed some lunch at the food truck and I nibbled a little but really couldn't eat. I had positioned our truck and trailer for a quick exit. The driver was a little late but pulled in. 

Here comes the motorcade! 

There was one other person there to pick up a horse, and we chatted idly but I couldn't tell you one thing. Quaid was the first horse off the truck and he stopped at the top of the ramp to grab a mouthful of hay and then walked off. He was clearly looking around and not too focussed on me, totally understandable. I chatted a bit with the driver who said, 'he's a bit looky but very sweet.' And then looked at me and said 'you've handled lots of colts?'. 

Yes I said. Totally lying. I've handled Irish as a 3 year old and Steele as a yearling, so I probably can't claim lots for experience. But whatever. 

We walked up to the trailer and Quaid did that 4-legged splat horses do when something worries them. His eyes bugged out looking at the trailer. I knew he had been in a trailer back in Alberta but I suspect it was a stock trailer, which looks very different than my Exiss bumper pull. I stood at the top of the ramp and put a wee bit of pressure on him while speaking softly. He put two feet on, we waited and then he followed me on.  I tied him, closed it all up and we headed out. The first little bit I could hear him pawing back there but he stopped after 10 minutes and didn't do it anymore for the rest of the trip. 

We pulled up and I had open up his stall and then help me unload. After putting down the butt bar I just had Ed stand to one side to stop him from going off the ramp at the top. It was clear that Quaid wasn't too sure about this backing off the trailer thing but step by slow step we did it. We walked into his stall and he drank 3/4 of a bucket of water before I even got his halter off. 

I let him chill a little and then turned him out into our small paddock. I would have done that anyway but he's not been on grass yet so I didn't want to let him out into the grass field. 

Seeing his new family

learning about electricity

He tested the fence pretty quickly, which I expected. There is only one way to teach a horse about the electric fence that I know of and that is experience. After a couple 'bites' he realised it was the fence. 

Thinking about electricity and the unfairness of the world

For a horse that just spent the last 7 days in a trailer he was pretty chill about everything. Next door a dump truck dumped a load of gravel and it made a terrible racket. He just looked. 

I brought him in at dinner time- I lead him and had Ed close door behind us. I then went to bring in the other two. Quaid was not happy about that and kicked the wall a few times. I laughed- so you do have a temper. Okay then. 

I fed Carmen and Irish and gave Quaid some hay. I then sat outside his stall for a bit. I knew he wasn't too sure about this woman he just meant who put him on another trailer and then locked him in a stall. He was a bit stand-offish at first but I wasn't worried. sure enough, his curiosity got the better of him and after a bit he was taking a bit of his hay and then touching my hat. 

That night I gave him a bit of soaked feed, same as I give Irish and Carmen. I know he's not had grain (although mine isn't grain) but I need to supplement to make up for what is lacking in our hay/grass so this will help. He was playing in it and reminded me of a baby when you give them a food for the first time. 

That night I went to bed shortly after nine and died. Between not really sleeping Wednesday night and the 5 hours driving a trailer I was exhausted. 

The next morning three bright faces greeted me over the stall doors. Quaid had eaten all of his hay, emptied his water bucket and then threw it into the back of the stall. His halter was on the ground too. 

I gave Quaid some ulcer meds in the morning (I want to make sure that there are no ill effects from his long ride) and then opened his door to let him out. I had planned to put the halter on and lead him out because I like my horses to learn to walk out, not leap out like it's a starting gate. But he looked pretty quiet so I slowly opened the door and he sauntered out. 

Later that morning I put his halter on and took him out to start eating grass. He looked around and then settled into grazing. 
Irish staying nearby. New halter looks fab

While he was grazing something startled him and he leaped back. As soon as he hit the end of the halter he stopped. It's clear that he's had some good handling. After 15 minutes I lead him back in. We had a little bit of a lesson on how I want him to be when I lead him into the stall and take off his halter (turn around, wait for me to take it off, walk away). But it wasn't a huge discussion- just me showing him what I want. He'll figure it out. 

I grabbed my grooming gloves and began to groom him out in his paddock. He loved it. I was getting all his itchy spots. I didn't want to get between him and the haybox so I just walked away a bit and he followed 'hey wait, I still have spots to scratch'. After a really thorough groom I walked out and he followed me.  

All the signs so far point to him being a friendly, calm thinker who is curious. Once he recovers from his trip there may be more theatrics (also as he gets older and more confident), but he seems to be just what I was looking for. 

I am going to need to get him a fly mask - I don't have a cob-sized one. And he doesn't have a sign for his door. 

It won't take long for him to see me as a positive thing. I am sure he will be tired for a few days post trip. But that's good- because it will take me time to get him up on the grass so he can be out with his herd. 

Full house, full heart. 


  1. I'm so, so happy for you <3 what a good egg. He is going to blossom in your family and I cannot wait to watch him grow up!

  2. I have been waiting for the update. So excited for you! ♥️♥️♥️

  3. oh my goodness he has such a sweet face <3 <3 so excited to get to know him!

  4. What a beautiful beginning! How are the chickens adapting? 😂

    1. They are doing well. They went in his stall first thing. 😁

  5. How exciting! Congratulations on your new family member!! Are you planning on keeping him as a colt?

    1. Thank you. He’s already gelded which was what I wanted - a gelding or mare.

    2. Oh. Hm. I guess I'm less used to babies cause I just assumed they would call him a gelding regardless of being under 3. The more you know! XD

  6. That's exciting! Congratulations on getting him home in one piece. He's going to love it with you!

    1. Thank you. We have a long time to focus on ground work and manners which is perfect.

  7. Yay!!!! He's home! He sounds like he has a very good brain, and I'm sure he'll settle right in. He's ADORABLE too! Congrats!

  8. <3 I love this. He sounds like a good one!


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