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Monday, May 23, 2011

Sterling's first trip to Tennessee~

Here is my lost blogpost from the end of April.  So much has happened since then, I went in and added all of the lost pictures and hope you can see it all this time! 
Since our trip to Tennessee,  last week, Sterling has really gained some confidence in himself and is happy to share it with us all.  He is still the loving, fun and respectful, really fast learning Andalusian colt I keep falling in love with,  but now his body is growing more even, his legs seem straighter and he is able to come under himself instead of having those gangling legs go every which way! I'm more and more enamored by him each day!

The way he holds himself is a really exciting glimpse into his ancestral greatness ...... and into his future.  He's like a dream of the future and a memory of the ancients all at once!

Pegasa is our friend, she is a 17+ hand grey  Holsteiner Mare who took our trip with Sterling and  My Valentine in the trailer, while Carrie and I rode in the truck to Tennessee to spend some time with our friends Aimee and Tammy.
The trip had so many magic moments.  Our first overnight stop happened in Bristol, TN at a lovely place with two adjacent rectangle paddocks with shelters.  Since Sterling and Peg had not been together yet, he stayed with Valentine and Peg had her own paddock.  When we arrived, the weather was beautiful, the moon was big and bright and the sky filled with stars, but soon enough, just after we settled into our camper for the night, the clouds rolled in, the wind began and lightning crashed all around us.  I could only see the horses when the lightning lit up the place, then the rain and hail came.  In the brightness of the lightning, I could see Peg galloping the fence line. Valentine was no where in sight, likely already in the shelter. Then I could see Sterling ~ Mirroring Peg! He was her shadow on the other side of the fence, matching her every motion. It was fascinating!  Made equally ethereal by the flashes of lightning. It was a movie etched in my minds eye that I won't forget.  And I think it was a bonding experience for them.  I wonder if he was supporting her because as a stallion that is what he should do?  I only know it was pure instinct for him.  It has to be, he is only eleven months old and I have not witnessed this before. Magic~

Pegasa, Sterling, Valentine 
When we arrived in Murfreesboro the next day, it was already summer.  Sunny, warm, light breezes.  Coming from what feels like eternal cold in NJ, I was pleased.  We turned the herd out together and had dinner with our friends. Sterling travels really well, he eats and drinks on the trailer, something, not all horses do readily.  Another thing I am grateful for.  His quiet presence creates a lovely feel in the trailer. He joyfully loads and unloads.

I set out to give him his 1st bath!  Ha Ha, there is no way that was this boy's first bath.  He was a champion, he loved the massaging water sprayer, loved the soaping process and stood tied to the hitching rail until he was dry.  I suspect he was bathed during his first summer.  A fine tribute to his loving start in his life with people!
Peg, Valentine and Sterling heading over to visit with Aimee's horses!  Such a lovely thing for a little colt to be able to do.

All winter, we have done most things at home at liberty.  My place is just set up that way, and it works.  I did tie him to the hitching rail, but didn't use ropes for much else.  So when I was taking Valentine and Sterling to the newly fenced meadow in TN, for grazing, I realized Sterling didn't understand traveling together with ropes! They always seemed to be in his way.  By the time we got to the meadow gate, we mostly got that worked out, but I kept noticing how bold he was being with Valentine!  This was unusual behavior for Valentine, My Herd Leader, to "put up" with this. Sterling kept biting her.  She kept looking at me and I was wondering why she wasn't managing him.  Then, like a blinding flash of the obvious, it hit me, I am the herd leader!  I'm always telling them, that when I am there, I will manage such things, be nice to your sister and such.  So gratefully, Valentine allowed me to step up with loving patience to let Sterling know, that was unacceptable behavior.  Like all things, he got it. Quickly.

My experience with Patches as a baby nearly 20 years ago was nothing like this, I longed to have what my gelding had. Horse sense, presence, boundaries,  leadership, control! Patches was always on top of me, literally, she would run me over in a heart beat. I credit Pat Parelli for teaching me "hide your hiney".  That single technique, saved my life and kept me in the game!  I knew I loved horses, but the only time I would wear my helmet was when I was walking Patches from one place to another!  I am soooo grateful to her for those lessons.  If you never had a horse that wanted to be on top of you, you may not have learned those lessons like me! When your life is in jeopardy, things take on a bigger priority.

I asked Sterling to lay down, and he did. 
So Aimee said to me, "You don't need to teach Sterling about Sterling, You need to teach Sterling about MaryAnn" .  Boy, what a relief! I wish someone had told me that when my kids were little! I would have worried less about them turning out!  I can see that is what each of my mares are doing.  Jaquie, my miniature donkey (Angel in donkey suit) has told Sterling, flat out from day one, you may not touch me. I have never seen her tell anyone or any thing that, except Sterling. Mya is all about running with Sterling.  She's only 30 inches tall, but FAST! Now he is bigger and seems to have some purpose for moving, their level of play has intensified! Whispering Jessie has it on her terms every time.  If she says yes, it's yes, if she says no, it's no, Sterling believes her and seems to respect this clarity. Patches wants his babies, and that's who he is with her.  I want to be smoochie and loving with him, his fur is so soft, I want to touch him allover and I want him to feel free to interact with me.  However, I will not be pushed on, pulled on, stepped on, bitten or ignored. So far so good! His first birthday is in two weeks, where we will all enjoy his favorite thing ~ carrots.
More later...................... :)

1 comment:

  1. Maryanne, again I marvel at your words. You transformed me to the meadow where only last year, his mom Vianca ran in the hells. I wonder if she told him of that marvelous, magical place. Thanks for sharing this special moment and thank you for the reminder that we not only need to know and understand our horses, but they too need to know the promises and hidden stories in our hearts.


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