First thing I did when I brought horses onto the property after we bought it was to post Michigan's equine law. It has served well to stop people from messing with my animals and asking for free "pony rides". Not that I mind giving them to people who can act with a little common sense, but I'm not a riding stable and my horses aren't nose-to-tail riding stable ponies. I'm working on a new pasture area to install that gate. You can see my cinder block in the corner that I use for mounting when I just can't get my leg up that high, haha. And my thermometer for gauging who needs blankets or extra feed or water for the night.
Back to Topper, he's a nine-year-old Morgan-Arabian cross. He is gelded which means he can't make any little Toppers and minds his manners much better around the ladies. He has been with us for about a year and came from a home with a ton of little girls who loved him but were sorta afraid of his energy and cat-like reflexes. My intent was (and still is) to get back into one of my first loves, barrel racing, with him. He loves to run and go for rides - although we don't get as much time to do that as I would like. He also loves to be petted and fussed over and is very good around the kids.
He's a little silly at times - he has a tendency to get himself into sticky situations but he trusts people so he listens to me and waits to be helped. If you've ever had horses then you know that most of them tend to like to find themselves in difficult situations - curiosity like a cat. He is always eager to please though and when his stubborn Arabian side shows up, it usually doesn't take too much convincing for him to decide to give in to whatever I'm asking of him. It is a lot of fun for me to have the challenge of working with a big horse again. I enjoyed that challenge with my previous horses until they went into retirement and days of soaking up the sun and getting treats without many duties. The pony is fun to work on the ground but its not the same as riding. Topper had a great foundation training at some point in his life but got sorta sneaky when he learned that the girls were not experienced enough to keep him from taking advantage of them. When he first came to me we had a few go-arounds about who was making the decisions but with a little firmness and repetition, he quickly learned to respect me and responds well to my direction as long as I give him cues he understands (I'm working on recovering my rusty training and riding skills).
He is a sweet boy and everyone who meets him is envious of his thick, flowing mane and finds him a general all-around good guy. My son proudly proclaims to everyone who asks that his horse, Topper, is the best horse ever even though he has not been so brave as to ride him with me yet and he dearly loves the pony as well.
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