Follow The Rules


Lucky enough to have a horse.


Previous Horse had rules. No. Previous Horse had Rules, with a capital-R.

For example, he had a specific show arrival protocol. He got off the trailer. He had a hay snack. He had a nap. I could shorten these to a bare minimum on occasion. Woe betide me if I skipped a step. That included trying to save time by grooming during nap time. In Traditional Chinese Medicine terms, Previous Horse was metal. Very, very metal.

Another rule was that he got the day off for shoeing. One time I tried to do an end run around that by riding before he got shod. History does not record exactly what he did in retaliation – this was over 20 years ago (really?!?) – but I never tried it again.

House rules develop momentum of their own. Rodney and Milton inherited this one. Made sense to me. New shoes meant new angles to their feet. Give them a chance to get use to the changes. I had no science behind this, simply squishy anthropomorphism. I’ve seen horses go from the blacksmith to a ride without turning a hair. It could be done.

Last week. Didn’t ride on Tuesday. Tired after second dental adventure [Hard Times Horse]. Blacksmith coming early Wednesday. Hmm. By Wednesday evening Rodney would have had a day off & most of that day to get used to his new kicks. Maybe I could fit in a short hack.


Usually, Rodney licks and chews while getting shod. This time, he started waving his feet in the air as soon as the blacksmith was finished nailing. It was as if he had heard my plans.

He wasn’t sore. The best way to describe it was touchy. He was fine in the field, trotting and cantering hither and yon. As soon as I put a saddle on, he placed his feet with care, working the nomination for Best Dramatic Rendering of Evil Stepmother in red-hot, iron shoes.

Remember, he was trotting and cantering while at liberty.

It took three days of getting 50% better each day. Even after we had reestablished all three gears, he threw in a few questionable steps as we walked back to the barn afterwards.

I hath learned my lesson.

Follow. The. Rules.

Stay safe. Stay sane.
Katherine Walcott

5 thoughts on “Follow The Rules

  1. Pat and I are both fixed sun signs so we have rules. Good rules. We work them out as our life together demands. It makes it so much easier to function.

    For others, I understand, not so much so. One of my close friends has both sun and moon in mutable signs. Our friendship has its bumps.

    Rule-prone people need to be dealt within their framework of rules. Otherwise…

  2. Don’t know what sun sign I am – Is that like zodiac? – but Rodney reminded my of my little mare Priney (short for Prrincess). She loved to jump and hated dressage. So I’d be warming up in the ring, a little trotting, a little cantering over small fences, She was fine. But when she saw my dressage instructor walking toward us, all of a sudden she was lame. No heat in her legs, she’d been going fine, and once I insited we were going to work, she was fine. But with that disgusted expression you may remember, Katherine. Only….the next week she “went lame” again. But on the other leg. She had pretty choppy gaits, especially at the trot, but she could be very funny sometimes.

    1. ah. i’m sagittarius. don’t know what Priney was. Chief was born April 1st, don’t know what that makes him.
      both my dogs (the late toby and eowyn) were born late August. have to look them up.

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