The Post of Don Sam Incognito

The other day, I met a woman walking her dog and baby stroller along our road. They stopped to let the dog, a curly coated Chesapeake, play with Jeter.

“So you own the white horse?” she asked. “My daughter thinks he’s a magical horse.”

“That’s Sam,” I said, “and he is a magical horse.”

Sam and Mattie came through the winter in fine form and are now sleek coated and getting some muscle definition—at least Sam is. After a long stretch of clicker training, both horses seem to have responded in ways I hoped them to—especially Sam. He hasn’t been head butting—except for the occasional slip up—and he knows the command “stand” and remembers to use his lips, not his teeth to take a treat. Mattie has her ears up more, but she and I need to go back to the clicker now that I’m saddling and mounting—both things she has lots of anxiety about.

Life is great for Sam, however, since he met Casey, who is part of a campus horse club. She’s an experienced rider without a horse and she’s coming out twice a week to work with and ride Sam. It’s great to see him respond to her. He’s bonded with her quickly—I have to remind him that I’m his person, too, sometimes—and he comes up to her and behaves like a gentleman for her, mostly. Because she’s willing to come twice a week to ride him, I can concentrate on solving some long standing issues with Mattie, including mounting and saddling.

It’s summer, summer, summer. The days are warm, the horses gleam in the corral, the garden is slowly getting planted on schedule (today’s our last frost date, so traditional planting day). Except for the earthquakes and tremors we’ve been experiencing the past few days, this is the best time of year here or anywhere.

Need to get back to the greenhouse, now.

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