Friday, August 24, 2012

At the Barn...and My Horse, Topper

My lovely little barn, which you have seen from afar.  She's pretty simple but sweet in her own way.  She desperately needs a coat of paint but she doesn't seem to mind being constantly shuffled to the bottom of the list.  
She has this center part which features a small loft and plenty of storage for the needs of my small menagerie.  Then she has two wings - to the south she houses the two stalls and to the north she has a lovely little hay storage area which opens to the west and also serves as part of the dog pen.



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.

This is my buddy, Topper.  He was out munching on the lawn.  We frequently tied the horses and goat in the backyard to enjoy the lawn grass and help stretch it out between mowing (which is my husband's least favorite job).  Actually they work quite well as trimmers too because they tend to nibble the grass and weeds off at the same height we mow.  And the goat loves all the weeds and tough stuff the horses won't touch so we put the horses in the lush areas and then put the goat there the next day.  This does sometimes cause the "crop circle" affect because they are picketed out but it does often extended our non-mowing periods by quite a bit and it allows the pasture area some rest.
 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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10 comments:

Tricia Hays said...

Both look like true beauties, barn & horse! Great shots, esp the 2nd

Thanks for joining =)

A Quiet Corner said...

Thanks for sharing your loves!...:)JP

EG CameraGirl said...

Topper sounds great. It's good that he now knows who's really the boss. :)

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Wonderful barn and horse!!

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Topper is sure handsome.

I don't let people ride my horses either. Too much liability there.

Danielle said...

Love the barn and the horse also. I know painting it keeps it from going into disrepair....but not painting it gives it such wonderful character.

Candy C. said...

Topper sure is a good looking horse and I love your barn! :)

Pat said...

Topper is a beauty!

tiarastantrums said...

lovely horse - and your barn looks pretty darn good!

Nancy Claeys said...

I'm surprised at the nerve of some people -- Topper is a gorgeous horse and I love the name. :)