Guy, my dog, I mean my “daughter’s dog” that lives, eats and sheds in my house, is quickly becoming a great trail ride dog. I suppose that is not surprising when you consider his mixed breeds of Blue Heeler and Catahoula. But, when you consider the fact that he was terrified of the horses on our first several visits, it is.
He would crouch down and whine and hide in corners. He even piddled in fear. I thought, well, these are some huge animals that he has never seen before-that’s natural. I worried that he’d never be able to get used to them. And, he was so erratic on a leash that it must have been comical to watch me trying to control him. I kept bringing him to the barn though. He needed to get some exercise since he is sick, (He has bladder cancer.) and well, what dog does not like to run?
So I kept dragging this scared hairball to the barn and fighting with him on the leash. It really wasn’t fun frankly. It was really frustrating. I am sure it irritated the horses. And I certainly was not in my usual calm and serene normal barn manner. Little by little though, Guy and Daisy (my horse), got to know each other. I took of the leash.
Guy was not afraid anymore. In fact, he seemed to be too comfortable. He would run up to Daisy and bark in her face (playfully) and run around under her feet. This kind of makes me nervous. She’s an older horse. I am sure she would prefer not to have a toddler running and screaming under her feet. Well, at least I assume. But, she is an amazingly tolerant horse. She puts up with him and stops walking if he seems to be in her way.
Eventually, I dared to take him on a trail ride. I was afraid he would see a deer or rabbit and take off, spook Daisy, or simply not listen to me and run off. We started on short rides. Eventually that got longer. And, after a several months now, we can go on 30- to 40-minute trail rides with no major issues. I still have to tell him to “leave it” if he sees something worthy of chasing and I have to tell him to “come” if he seems to be going in a different direction, but he has really taken to it. And Daisy, God bless her, puts up with his erratic running here and there and everywhere. Last weekend, we even rode with other people. I was a little concerned that Guy may spook their horses as not every horse is as tolerant as my Daisy, but it was fine. No one was startled and the ride was safe and fun.
I have to say that I am so glad I kept bring Guy to the barn. He has been a pleasant edition to the fun there, and I really think these trips help his health. He seems fit and energetic. No one believes me that he is sick. I guess having a good friend and some exercise does the body and mind good. 🙂
So with that said, I am off to the barn now to watch the new friends play together again.
Have a great day!!
For this week’s