Can Horses Give Birthday Presents?

Horses don’t know about calendars or birthdays, though I guess they are aware of seasons. But I’m going to choose to believe they can give gifts! So, thanks to Apache, my American horse, for the gift today!

Seconds earlier, he was trying to taste the flag. Guess that doesn’t spook him!

My birthday gift to myself this year was a Working Horse Central clinic, which happened to be at Tarrin the trainer’s place, quite familiar to my guys. I decided to take Apache, to see how much he’s improved. By the way, a clinic is like a group lesson, where you get to see how others are doing. You can learn so much.

Apache paid careful attention.

We went with Sara and Aragorn, which made the day that much more fun, and Trixie also added to the birthday friend fun with her very lively little stallion, Archie.

The sun shining on my friends!

The clinic was fantastic. We learned a lot from the advanced people, who included a young girl who’s also a trick rider. It was fun seeing how the cantering crowd had stuff to learn, just like us.

Practice with the dreaded pole.

Our group had a very young woman, too. I was so impressed with how much she wanted to learn, even when her horse gave her trouble. She just got on another horse and kept trying.

I missed the dang birds.

She was a great role model for not giving up. My favorite thing that happened with her was that I heard a familiar noise in the sky. It was the Sandhill cranes migrating. I told her to look up. It was such a tender moment to introduce a child to this Texas wonder. She was enthralled. For many reasons, she won’t forget today!

I won’t forget this hay.

Well, you don’t need the details, but I was so happy with how well Apache and I did with all these new things! We learned to try trotting. We will score better. And I learned he backs up well.

Having a great birthday.

We learned so much from everyone else, and from what we tried and realized we could do. There was a lot of trotting. It went well and I got better and better, but I sure hurt now.

I was really tired, too. So much trotting.

I’d forgotten how well Apache does in clinics. He is like a learning sponge. And he was so patient waiting for his turn. He was calm and didn’t do one squirrelly thing. Nothing the other horses did phased him, even when a horse rolled onto its rider. I was so proud. What a great birthday gift.

Patiently waiting. All these guys were so good.

I can’t believe we did so well at things we’d never tried before. This sure makes up for Drew just not wanting to do anything yesterday. If he messes up tomorrow, so what? We will just keep learning. That’s the fun part.

Yee haw! It looks like I’m pulling on him, because I’m trying to get him to look at Sara.

I hope that Drew learns to enjoy clinics and shows like Apache does. In any case, my horse gave me a good birthday. No need to worry about people, parties, or presents. Perfect.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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