I was able to get to the barn yesterday, and I really needed a trip to the barn. For the last few days Daughter has been the caregiver, since I had to travel and was unable to make it, she was on her own.
Up until recently we have boarded Pippi at facilities, and so a lot of her care has been done by others. On October 23rd we moved Pippi to Donna and Kevin's house, in our neighborhood, and we are now taking care of her exclusively ourselves. For some reason I thought it would be a lot of work, but with only one horse it is not that bad. We also care for Pippi's stall mate, Chance (mini Pip), whose stall is the only other one in that building. But even so, we are LOVING it. Two stalls to clean, three water buckets, and two feeders, two meals per day, hay and sweeping the aisle; no big whoop! I think after sitting all day in an office, the motion of moving and working just feels like a break. Of course that is easy to say now, it is not winter yet.
Pippi was happy to see me, I was happy to see her. She had chosen to be outside even in the rain, so I dried her off and spent some time just grooming and rubbing on her. I love the deep exhales she does, and the way her body seems to settle as I touch her. I rubbed a towel all over he body, and gently stroked her face with it. She loves that, and will freeze in place for as long as I am willing to do it. I found the spot behind her ear that makes her eyes close, and she got that dreamy expression. She now picks up her feet with just the slightest touch, and was very patient with the long time it took me to clean out all the packed in mud.
We just fiddled around with this and that for a while. Did some clicker stuff as we waited for Daughter to finish her stall, and just enjoyed ourselves. Pawing the ground, touch the item, etc. Pippi will only do clicker training for a few minutes before she decides she has had enough treats and will no longer be manipulated. She then just stands and looks at me. She will comply with things that makes sense to her, but touch the item goes out the window. "Bored!!" she says, and there is a limit to what we can do in a small aisle.
I am so happy to have Pippi to ourselves like this. If you are wondering about taking your horse "home" - DO IT!! It is less work than you think, and it does strengthen your bond with the horse for sure. Pippi now knows for sure who her humans are, and relies on us for everything. Daughter says it has made training easier as well, even without the fancy outdoor arena and an indoor arena. (of course, it is not really winter yet!)