My second day at the ranch was this past Monday. As a newly-experienced poop-scooper, I didn’t really have to ask what needed to be done first. I just assumed it was poop-scooping boogie time, so I grabbed the wheelbarrow and scooper and went about the business of scooping up all the horse business in the main corral and the villas. Oh, and by the way… there is a small pasture right next to the barn where two horses are kept and that pasture needs to be scooped on a regular basis, as well. Okay, now my ego starts kicking in because I figured I must be good at this; otherwise, why would they trust me to scoop up even more poop!? πŸ˜‰ And 2 1/2 hours and five full wheelbarrows later, I was finally through.

And my reward?

I finally got to do some real horse work! πŸ˜‰

Although I work for the couple who own the ranch, I primarily work for the wife. Her name is Diana and she is pretty cool. She is a good person and I really like her. She has been working with horses most of her life and her experience with horses, and her concern for their well-being, is beyond question. She is connected to these horses in ways that make me wonder if synchronicity may happen between humans and animals just like it does between humans.

So today, Diana is going to let me get some hands-on experience with a horse named Charlie Boy.

This is Charlie Boy

Charlie is a Tennessee Walker and is about 22 years old. In 2008, Charlie was extremely ill, had been refused medical care, and was close to death. Diana rescued him and he was taken to a hospital where his life was saved. He is being treated for cancer, but his prognosis is good. To look at him now, and to see how he has recovered, is a living testimonial to Diana and what she does. Charlie is friendly, laid back, and very cooperative, so Diana figured he would do a good job of teaching me how to care for him (with Diana supervising, of course!). πŸ˜‰ I wasn’t expecting this so soon and I was so excited I didn’t even think about getting any pictures of what I did, but will try to get some in the near future.

I learned how to put his halter on. Then lead him out of the barn and learned how to get him to lift his legs — yes, one at at time — so I could clean the underside of his hooves. Diana cleaned one to show me how it’s done, and I cleaned the other three. What an awesome experience, to be that close to such a powerful animal, and he just stood there and let me scrape and brush out the mud and grunge that was impacted on the underside of his hooves. Then I lead him over to the hose and gave him a nice, cool shower. As hot as it’s been around here, the horses love it when they get a cool shower in the afternoon. After I got through with all that, I fed him a banana, put a fanny-pack on that contained some treats, and got ready to take him for a walk around the ranch.

Now just to brag a little, I wasn’t a bit nervous in doing any of that. In fact, I am at ease and very comfortable being around these horses and I think they sense that ease. Christine, the woman who boards her two horses at the ranch, happened to be there and, after watching me, she wanted to know if I had been working with horses all my life! Can you imagine that? I told her this was my first experience with horses and she was truly surprised. What a nice compliment from another really nice person.

Diana and I took Charlie for a walk and the first thing he does is head over to a big rock not far from the house. When he gets there, he puts his hoof up on the rock, taps it, and then turns around wanting a treat. He gets one, too. Nice trick, Charlie. Later, Diana shows me how he likes for her to stop, and then slowly start backing up. As she does, Charlie stops, and starts backing up, too. Another neat trick, Charlie. Here, have another treat! I tried it later, and he did the same thing for me. πŸ™‚

Walking leisurely around the ranch, with a good person and a good horse, and Charlie doing his occasional tricks for treats, I really think I feel the beginnings of being connected, too. And what an unbelievably good feeling it is. πŸ˜‰