Did you ever notice that every time you get sucked up into your own head and the voices there become unbearable, something comes along to shake the tree and rattle loose some of that common sense you used to have?
Yeah. Well, my last whiny rant about poor Zip who seems to travel under a cloud was interrupted, thank goodness, by my grandson and good ol' Duke. Here you see them in an intriguing pas de deux in the driveway. -->
There was absolutely no purpose to their happy playtime other than happy playtime. A little dwarf bonding episode. Dillon has been exposed to horses already because his mom, my daughter, has seen to it that he spends time at the barn with her mare, Dolly. So the fact that he's so relaxed here is her doing. But he'd never been up-close-and-personal with Duke before simply because until he could walk and was in control of at least some of his body parts, it didn't seem wise to turn him loose with the Mythical Beast. On the day these photos were taken, there was no reason not to, so we handed him the keys to his first project pony. Dillon is 19 months old in these shots.
Notice how little concern he has for whether or not his pony can do lateral work? Notice that Duke, new to dog impressions, is doing a fine job of not taking the baby for a drag? Could they be any more relaxed? Only if they were caught napping together on the lawn.
Sometimes it's not a bad thing to just quit all the fussing and fuming and "training" and "mastery" stuff and just relax and be a kid with a pony again. I've been busy breaking Duke to ride in advance of this moment, but Dillon was happier astride the bigger Quarter Horse, Leo. I guess Duke's choppy little stride was disconcerting to a rider for whom "hold on" hasn't quite developed any meaning. Dillon rides circus-style, arms spread and eyes firmly fixed on something the rest of us can't see but Leo can apparently relate to.
But that didn't matter. Riding wasn't an issue. Dillon is here to show us that our horses aren't just cars with brains, nor are they collectibles to display for our friends and enemies in the hope of proving ourselves. These two are just happy walking around together. Not once did Duke yank the rope to grab a hunk of grass. Not once did Dillon try to make Duke do anything other than be with him. Obviously, Duke tipped to something I'd been missing. It was a breath of fresh air for all of us!
Take some time to just BE with the horses! There's more important stuff there than we notice when we're so busy trying to make them, ourselves, and our lives together into something they don't need to be.