Protecting Ben

We are having an unusually lovely, hot early summer. Great summer evenings, beautiful sunsets, no grass growth. So our large garden has been turned into an extra paddock by me into which I turn Ben and Rosie in the evenings when I come home from work. The procedure is this: I come up the drive, closing the front gate. My four year old runs out, we go together to open the gate and electric fence in the paddock.

Yesterday was the same. Ben and Rosie were waiting.  In the neighbourhood someone was using a drill. I opened the fence, Ben came first, waited. Holding hands, my daughter and I walked out together, Ben following with Rosie behind. He came up close behind my daughter so I moved her aside to let Ben move past. As I stopped, Ben stopped, level with me; he looked at me, awaiting my reassurance that the way was safe despite the scary drill. I walked with my daughter first, Ben followed all the way through to fresh grass. He only put his head down when I signaled to him to do so.

I do not believe that there is any such thing as a bombproof pony.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Protecting Ben

  1. June

    My oldest (soon to be married) daughter saw this photo of Ben and declared that she wants a horse exactly like him.

    We’re having a drought of sorts here too, and the soil is all shale, so everything just dries up.

  2. Finally I am paying you a visit. The horses look great and that is quite an interesting saddle you have! I loved the table setting with the horse holding down the napkins too. It looks like all is well!

    • Hi Lori, nice to see you here. Yes indeed, all is well, despite my saddle-fitting explorations. The ponies are well and we are having a lovely summer.

  3. Interesting thought about bombproof ponies.

    They can be bombproof in areas of experience. I ride a stallion bought from a Balkan farmer, who was used from the age of two (too young I know, but the habit out there) for logging, ploughing, and draught work on busy main roads. He is absolutely solid with any kind of machinery and vehicle. I have waited at a railway crossing without barriers whilst a long freight train has passed twenty feet away, and he cared not in the least. One can stand next to him and cut timber with a chainsaw, not that one needs to do this at the average yard nowadays.

    On the other hand I did come off him when some kind of vicious insect bit his nether regions. It was quite a lively buck that he threw in. (Which reaction I can quite understand.) Then he stood and waited for me to get back on.

    I do find it gratifying that people keep calling me and asking whether I can ride out with their new horses which are young/flighty/inexperienced in order that my beast can calm theirs. That’s not exactly the experience of the average stallion owner. But that’s what horses ought to be like – solid and reliable.

    • What I meant by that remark was that horses are so often advertised here as ‘bombproof’, and sometimes I wonder are they just a bit shut down. Ben is very solid in traffic, thankfully, as most of my riding has to be on the road, and he is great to accompany my friend on her new, young part-arab mare, very calm and steadying. But I find it interesting to see, that walking beside me, some things can worry him and I do like it that he waits for my lead to give him the reassurance that all is ok.

      Ouch! to that buck. Very understandable on Doru’s part.

  4. I have noticed this too, that horses that are shut down are told to be nice&easy and bombproof…

    I think they are the most dangerous ones, you’ll never know when they will wake up.

    In finnish, “turvallinen” means safe, but it can also be understood as something that has muzzle. So, all horses are “turvallinen” in here… Ha ha!