Today was a beautiful, if not chilly, day in North Florida. My neighbor down the road, works with and trains gaited horses. She is coming over for the afternoon with two of her friends (and their horses) to work on our natural horseman skills and then to trail ride. I choose Bear, the newest member of my herd, to be the student for the day. He is a Quarter Horse and Morgan mix. He is proving to be an awesome horse. Non-reactive but has some get up and go.
We work the horses through some basic ground work and do some stretching and flexing exercises. Bear does well but at times gets impatient with the exercises and paws the ground. We finish with a pleasant trail ride through the woods and pines and finally head back across the second 40 acre hayfield. The gals load up their horses, and after I say goodbye and see them off, I groom all four of my guys before turning them out.
The horses are in the paddock behind the stalls and I walk to open the gate to the pasture. They follow me and then do their usual showing off by running through the opening, kicking up their heels and racing out into the large pasture. Bear is the last one out. I am standing holding the gate, and just as he is turning to run and follow his herd, he stops and walks over and nuzzles his face into me. I rub his forehead for a few minutes and then he turns and runs after his buddies, kicking up his heels. It was a good day.
Photo of Bear Below!