Tuesday, April 20, 2010

a cat and a quarter horse



My daughter captured this photo of Mystical Kit and Cody the other day.  It offers an up-close glimpse of the feline-equine connection here, and I love the perspective she chose.

Each day when the horses get their grass time the cats seem to cluster up front - on the porch, in the grass, in the front beds where they can hide and watch. The horses are slightly less interested in the cats when they're grazing, but they are aware of them and often choose to interact.

We're having a lovely week weather-wise. The temps are near-perfect, and the pollen is gone. We could do with some rain, but otherwise, it's glorious weather.

Sometime around 5 p.m. every evening, the chorus begins. The geldings begin to stroll up and down the paddock, awaiting the moment when the gate opens and they can get to the good stuff. Keil Bay issues his most musical, inviting whinny, over and over again - his version of a siren song - hoping that I'll not be able to resist and will let them down early.

Yesterday Cody went into a full gallop between the dry paddock and the green stuff. But as he neared the gateway to the green, Salina flagged her head and told him NO.

Cody went from flat out gallop to dead halt in about 3 feet of space. I realized a few moments before he stopped that he was going to, and I held my breath a little because with his PSSM issues, this is a move that would completely test his ability to use his hind end muscles.

I half expected him to dig in with his front legs and stop in the unbalanced, uncoordinated way you sometimes see horses do, or to wheel around instead of stopping - but he didn't. He came underneath himself and sat into the halt as nicely and as controlled as I've ever seen. This isn't a move we do under saddle here - gallop to halt - so I've not really seen him do this quite so clearly. In the open field he's more likely to dodge than halt.  Seeing him do this made me happy - there's no doubt his PSSM is in good control if he can stop that way.

It also lets me know that he's ready to step up in his work under saddle. I think a few jumps are in his future!

8 comments:

Deborah Pipes said...

there are plenty of horses pastured around this little town and our evening walks frequently take us by some of the horses.

they find the lab fascinating and he finds them totally boring but does not mind the curious sniffing - nosy things that they are....

Grey Horse Matters said...

Great picture your daughter took, it really captures a special moment between the two.

I'm glad the PSSM horses are feeling well enough to give you a heart attack with their antics. Don't you just love when they pull stunts like that. Good for Salina for telling them no.

billie said...

Deborah, our Corgi, Kyra, is on good terms with the horses for the most part. The donkeys get a little concerned when she comes into their barnyard (on a leash! with me!) but they are respectful. Salina gets a little concerned too - which makes me laugh - the donkeys are concerned for Salina and Salina is concerned for her donkeys! It makes taking Kyra out there a little stressful.

However, we often let the equines into the back yard (not all at one time) and they are very respectful of Kyra, as that is her turf. It's so interesting seeing how they interact - cautious but curious.

billie said...

Arlene, fortunately there is only one PSSM'er here... as long as it took me to sort out what was going on, I'm relieved he's the only one!

Matthew said...

Fabulous composition and subject she captured here!

Claire said...

that photo is brilliant...

billie said...

Matthew, I agree - her perspective is always interesting and visually stimulating!

billie said...

Claire, I will pass the compliment on - thanks for commenting!