We have four horses who live in the house here with us and although they are predominantly used for racing, they are quite loved and get brought out many times a day for exercise. When it comes to their care, Dean is responsible for two of them and I am responsible for the other two and the kids really don’t do a damned thing other than ride them.
My two are in slightly worse shape that Dean’s. The left horse is Mr. Precious and he surprises me with his strength and stamina although the agility award goes to Ellie Mae, the horse on the right. Dean has Cash on the left and Carter on his right and they don’t get run near as much as Ellie Mae and Mr. Precious do simply because I’m here all day and Dean is not and so his horses go a little bit neglected. Regardless of this fact, his are about a year younger and in much better shape and really they are only neglected because they don’t get ridden near as much as mine.
Mr. Precious easily gets the most workout. He’s a crazy one, he is. He bucks and can be a little bit moody but he runs like the wind and the kids just love him. I always tend to start with him during a session but I do rotate them to Ellie Mae after a while since she needs a workout, too. My youngest daughter, Emi, has a real soft spot for him and he is easily her preferred ride over Ellie Mae who has to be jabbed and provoked to pick up speed:
“H’yah, Ellie Mae! H’yah!!!
This is so monumentally different than Mr. Precious who we spend the majority of any ride trying to settle down:
“Whoa, Mr. Precious… whoa, boy. Settle down, now!”
Mr. Precious and Ellie Mae work well together as do Cash and Carter. The pairs are almost always being set to race against each other with Mr. Precious racing against Ellie Mae and Cash and Carter squaring off.
And sometimes, alone at night in our bed… Mr. Precious, Ellie Mae, Cash and Carter all race each other. With no riders.
There are times when Olivia will be saddled up On Ellie Mae and Owen will be saddled up on Mr. Precious and they really have an exciting race. The announcers will be going wild, the crowd will be screaming and BAM! they shoot out of the gate and off down the dusty track where it is a fight to the finish. Sometimes the jockey’s fight dirty and will smack each other and try to throw each other from their mounts, something that has successfully happened a number of times and has halted quite a few races in our day.
For the jockey’s the race is easily the magic in this sport but for Emi, it’s just for good old-fashioned fun and exercise.
I, however, am just thrilled to not have to feed them or clean up their giant horse-shits or take them to the veterinarian or worry that one of them might impregnate one of the others. All I have to do….. is get them movin’.