I went to visit Annie at the horse school Thursday night. She recognized me and came right over. She might have been looking for treats, but maybe she was just glad to see a familiar face. She has to do new things, and pay attention, and actually get bossed around by a human being - all entirely unfamiliar events to her.
Annie apparently took the opportunity to exercise the dominance skills she has been learning first hand from Ginger the Terrible, and attempted to boss every horse she was penned with, so now she is in a pen by herself. Maybe she will stand up to Ginger when she gets home. I can only hope. She also continued to play in the water tanks. Irritating at home, but not tolerated at horse school.
All the burrs were out of Annie's her mane and tail, and so were the tangles. She almost looked like a civilized horse. She had lost some weight and I do not think she is happy there. Her usual playful demeanor was subdued. Of course it was so oppressively hot and humid that all the horses were sweating where they stood. I am certain that Rebecca is not mistreating Annie. Everyone is subdued when they have to go off to school and learn new rules and live among unfamiliar people and surroundings. Everyone misses their home and their family when they are away, even horses.
Next Thursday, I am going for some training myself. There was no hint of criticism from Rebecca about my indulged and spoiled horse, but I could see my habits were in stark contrast to hers. It is always good to get some perspective in life.
There was also a flock of big chickens scratching about the barns and corrals. Annie normally would have loved to chase the hens, but she just stood next to me at the fence. The rooster was a regular sized guy, about two feet tall. He looked like a giant to my eyes accustomed to bantams. Out of sheer habit, I braced for an attack when I first noticed him giving me the eye. If a rooster that large attacked it would be a serious altercation - nothing like the mini-attacks from the Evil Roo at home. Large roosters that attack people are normally not long for this world simply because they are so big and can inflict painful injuries. I doubted he would attack, but I kept my eye on him just the same.
Rebecca is a young woman, probably in her mid twenties. I stayed a few extra minutes to watch one of her young student's lesson, a very nice little girl about ten. That rooster engaged in normal roosterly behavior with one of the hens. The little girl innocently asked Rebecca why the rooster was standing on the hen. At that moment, I was so happy to be simply an observer. Better Rebecca than me. She paused for a moment, then said, "Oh that silly old rooster!" Well done, Rebecca. It has been such a long time since I was around the innocence of childhood.
It is always good to get some perspective.