For the past couple of weeks, my husband has been driving me all over the state looking for my new horse. I must have test ridden 15 horses during that time. Last Saturday, I found him and yesterday my new equine partner came home to live with me. Gun Running Ridge Runner (Gunner) has arrived!

It is kind of funny how it came about. I saw him on Dreamhorse and called about him, but during the course of the conversation, the owner thought one of her other horses would be better suited for me, so we never discussed Gunner. But when we got there, and saw the other horse, he was a bit lame and poorly conformed, so we decided not to torment him by riding him. She just happened to mention that Gunner racks. That got my attention because that is the smoothest gait ever!

So she went and caught him up. He is far from finished, but he is well-broke, for sure. His gait is the smoothest I have ridden, aside from my Patch pony, who goes to his new home a week from tomorrow. He also had a damn good set of brakes, so that made him OK for me.

When he arrived, yesterday, I watched closely as he got off the trailer and saw his new surroundings for the first time. He was alert and curious, but not screaming, snorting, or flagging his tail, unlike the other two I had vet checked. He calmly walked into the barn and into his new stall. But he is skeptical … boy, is he skeptical.

Yesterday, he was very aloof. He didn’t even want me to come up to him to scratch him or halter him. I tried treats like carrots and apples, but this poor pasture boy didn’t even know what to do with them. He certainly wasn’t convinced it wasn’t poison. But before I left, I got my foot in the door. He knows what grain is … and he definitely likes that.

So today, he was a bit more curious and interactive. He came right up to the stall door when I approached and he followed me as I walked past him into his area. He was still skeptical though. I put a chair in there and just sat there, with a little grain in a bucket in my lap, and just let him come to me. It was so funny. He wanted that grain so bad, the fat boy (who has just entered fat camp), but he wasn’t sure about me. So he would stretch his neck like a giraffe to try to get that grain, but not get too close to me. But he got over that quickly.

So then I noticed the flies were leaving welts on him, so I put the halter on him and took him out of the stall, which he did willingly. He stood fine for grooming but he was certain that fly spray was going to kill him. So we will have to keep after that until he realizes no harm is going to come to him. Then, I just walked him out of the barn for a few mouthfuls of green grass, which I am sure he is missing right about now. I want him to understand that being with me is a pretty good deal.

When we were done with that, we went back to the barn and I sat in his stall a bit longer. He moved to the other end of the run, so I got up and walked around the run without paying any attention to him. I stopped at the fence with my back to him. I heard him approach, but I didn’t realize he was right behind me. I turned and scratched him and told him what a good boy he is, then left. Tomorrow will be more of the same. For now, I don’t want to make any demands of him. I just want him to develop positive associations with me. He is young … only 6 … we have plenty of time for work later.


  1. Donna Lynne Mitchell says:

    Mom and I so enjoyed this story. Please keep them coming, thank you.

  2. Clint says:

    Coupla nags getting to know eachother….. Your GA. cuz! 🙂 I would say that is one lucky horse. He is hansome!

  3. Rachael says:

    This post and todays have me flying high with your absolute delight! Thanks so much for sharing…Give Gunner a cookie from your “Friends”!!!

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