MerryLegs showed up in Cleveland last Thursday after a long journey from Manitoba, Canada. Not surprisingly, he was a little keyed up the first few days. I planned to just give him time to settle in and for me to get to know him. Friday evening, I took him for a walk to the round pen. He had to pass the outdoor arena where 2 thoroughbreds were out playing. When they ran to see him, that startled him and he jumped about. Seems like it just went through all of this with Dante a few weeks ago…
When he settled down, I carefully led him to the round pen so he could roll and kick up his heels. Once inside and free, he just stood there and looked at me. Then he started snuffing around, but he didn’t roll. I was dying to see what he looked like when he moved, so I went inside and gently encouraged him to trot around. It turns out, he has a lovely, Morgan trot. What else can I expect from a Morgan.
If I wasn’t pushing him, he wasn’t moving. I let him go back to exploring. He finally did roll, but cautiously. He seems to be a bit like my cat, Thunder. He rolled once, looked all around and laid back down to roll, again. Maybe he was upset that it wasn’t muddy. I’ve been told that he loves to be dirty.
When I was inside the round pen, he wanted to be right with me. He would lip both of my hands, back and forth. I felt no teeth, so let him do it—it seemed like he needed to. When the tractor drove by, he didn’t care. When the driver of the tractor went past on his bicycle, he didn’t care, either. Then the driver came back in the big noisy truck—no problem. They weren’t close to the round pen, but close enough to startle a horse. He was very interested in the thoroughbreds. I decided to wait and bring him in after they left. He hurried back to the barn. I brushed him and cleaned his feet and then gave him his evening hay.
The next morning, Saturday, it was quiet, so I turned him loose in the outdoor arena to play. He still didn’t run around unless urged by me. In the larger area, he stretched his legs out to trot—in an even more Morgan style. His tail was often up—Arab style. Did I get another Morab? Ellen took some pictures.
I brought him in and led him around the indoor arena. He said there were a lot of scary things, but he would either stop and stare or shy away. There was no explosiveness or trying to run away from the things that bothered him. It was hard to make it all the way around, though without him stopping to look around. It seemed like all 30 of the horses at our stables wanted to call out to him—and he had to answer.
Ellen and I went out on our ride. (It was a great one.) When we got back, she decided to lead Ranger on the loop. I would bring MerryLegs along. MerryLegs was very excited about it, but I was able to keep him behind Ranger. All was going well, until we were just beginning our second lap. The kids 2 doors down started up their motorbikes. Ranger flipped out, and Ellen patiently worked their way back to the barn. MerryLegs got upset because Ranger was upset—and he was prancing and acting out. So much for Ranger being a good example.
When we got back, I walked him around the indoor arena. After a few minutes, he was walking steady along the wall. I was so pleased. Indoor arenas can be such scary places—and ours has 3 doorways to the different barns, 2 doorways to the outside and a lot of windows. There is so much going on that it can take a while for a horse to relax. It was good to see some relaxation on only his second session. I am starting to see that he has a very good mind.