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The battle of wills has begun.  I wasted no time after arriving in Lincoln starting work with Dancer.  A very generous friend of mine has allowed me to board my horses at her beautiful facility in exchange for some fence repairs so I’m taking advantage of the month-long free babysitting and the spacious indoor arena.

If you didn’t already know, Dancer is incredibly stubborn.  For any other creature, it wouldn’t be that much of a problem but when a clever 1,200 pound mare decides she doesn’t want to do something I ask, it’s either going to take some brawn or some brains.  Sometimes both.  Needless to say, properly and patiently starting a horse is tough, dirty work.

I give up on manicures when I’m working my horses.

It isn’t all work an no play though.  Even though most horses fuss a bit at being trained, they enjoy the mental challenge of trying to figure out how to coordinate all of their feet or more likely, relish in discovering new methods of evasion.  Dancer can put up a bit of a fight when she doesn’t get her way, but most of the time she’s got her little tail high in the air, trotting along like she’s worth a million bucks.


I tend to take for granted all of the manners Stoney had already when he came to me–he knew how to load on a trailer, stand for the farrier, go in and out of stalls, etc. but our beautiful Dancer barely knew anything when she came to us as a slight little frightened filly.  That’s why, even though she acts like a million bucks, she was actually only $100.  In the few weeks lately I’ve had full access to training her, she’s gotten the hang of everything from cross ties to lunging.

She’s shown by how much she’s absorbed in so short a time that there’s real potential in her.  Dancer is incredibly smart and may be stubborn but fortunately, so am I.

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5 Responses

  1. Awwww wow! This is fab! you just have to let us know how she gets on! You are so so lucky!! its my dream to own my own horse one day. Dancer looks like she is going to be a great horse!

    Jen xxx

  2. This is so interesting. Did your parents teach you how to work with horses? And, did Dancer really cost $100? I thought horses were super expensive…in the upper thousands.

    I love how the completely ordinary things about some people's lives are totally extraordinary and fascinating to others….

    good luck!!

  3. No, my grandma actually recognized my talent (I've loved horses ever since I could remember) and paid for lessons. I used to compete as a teenager but that's gone by the wayside since marriage and kids came along. I have been able to train a few other horses before Dancer so she's not my first bronco!
    And yes, she was a hundred bucks. Untrained horses are cheap to buy but still pretty expensive to keep unless you've got your own place.
    I know what you mean too–I am amazed at the creativity and talent of others. I stand in awe of so many!

  4. How neat, your grandmother investing like that for you. Wow. I hope I am a grandmother like that. I am currently teaching myself to knit (with major help from a friend) and sew on a machine for the sole purpose of teaching Shaelynn, who has been begging me to teacher knitting and sewing for almost three years. I finally decided that if at all possible, I didn't want to be the one that holds her back from her dreams, even if said dreams pose no interest for me personally. I am hoping I learn to like these things in the process.

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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