Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Pleasant Stranger

Mabel has been here at Cold Antler for a little over a week, but it's still a quiet shock to see her up in the pasture. Her bold chestnut and white coat seems to glow among the greens and browns of the field and trees.  Seeing her and Merlin side by side is a happy sight. For so many years Merlin was the sole pony on this farm. He is always close to Mabel now. She's definitely the one in charge and he's fine with that. Now in his twenties and six inches shorter at the withers  - the pasture looks like a Hobbit and a Cowgirl sharing a conversation or a breakfast of first cut hay.

I've ridden her four times since her drop off day, worked with her on the ground, and have an appointment with horse trainer and farrier, Dave, to meet her next week. I trust Dave's opinion so much on horses, and he may be the second most educational individual in my equine education. (The first being Merlin.) His expertise will be a combination of his many skills with horses - from feet condition to the swirls on her forehead. His particular combination of science, lore, experience, and horse sense will be well worth his $40 fee to trim her bare feet. My friend Patty told me that if I listened closely, I would never leave a hoof-trimming appointment with Dave without learning at least three new things. She was right.

So far Mabel has been a pleasant stranger. She's working out and I'm glad. Myself and friends have ridden her, and while she is more horse than Merlin (in size and attitude) she isn't interested in hurting anyone. She's a chestnut mare, through and through. If you want her to do something for you, well, you better be worth the trouble. She's already outsmarted, tested, and worked around my requests several times. But I know enough now to understand the difference between malice and stubbornness. There isn't a malevolent bone in Mabel's body. She just doesn't suffer fools, the nervous, or the easy-quitters. I like that in a woman!

In other news: I have been approved by the wonderful people at Kiva for my second loan through their micro-lending platform! This was the service I used to get the funds to purchase the 1989 F150 two years ago. That loan was paid off this summer and I applied for another last week. Details are here if you are interested in lending or sharing it on social media. Unlike crowdfunding, micro loans are repaid to you in full. You can put the money back in your bank or loan it to another farm. I have loaned the same $50 about 4 or 5 times now! Regardless, Thank you for looking!