Monday, February 28, 2011

The language of ears ~ part two

While George and Lucy were coming to an understanding during their first meet and greet,
Alan studied the situation and took notes.

1. Do not make rude comments about Lucy's rear end.
2. Prayers might come in handy...try to remember the words.
3. Girls rule.

Alan enters the corral and walks immediately to Lucy's hay tub. 
Having learned his lesson well, George exits stage right.

Lucy: You would do well to follow him.

Alan: But I'm just standing here being respectful and I didn't even touch your hay.

Lucy: But you were thinking about it. Now scram!

Alan: Since when is thinking a crime? I'm not going to take that kind of crap from her. 

Alan: Hey, George! You are going to back me up here, aren't you? George?

Alan casually walks around Miss Lucy, pretending he's on his way to get a drink of water.

Lucy: I have eyes in the back of my head and don't you ever forget it!

Alan may be low man on the totem pole in this herd, but he got in the last word.


I wish I had pictures to show you of my first ride on Lucy, but I don't. I'll do better next time. Here are the top five things I remember about it:

1. No fear ~ for either of us. I don't think I've ever felt as confident or comfortable in the saddle. All the little stuff in the background that would have sent most horses into a hyperactive hissy fit (the wind, the flapping electric tape gate, the wind, Hank calling out from the corral, the wind) didn't phase Lucy one single bit.

2. Lucy didn't care about leaving the boys - she was comfortable being with me.

3. Lucy's gait. Holy moly. Who knew that traveling at speed on an equine could be smooth? All you people with gaited horses, that's who. I had no idea.

4. When I dismounted, the ground was 8" closer than it was riding Hank or Lyle.

5. I'm pretty sure Lucy had as much fun as I did.

Winter returned to New Mexico on Sunday, so we did not venture out for our second ride. But the outlook for the rest of the week looks sunny and warm – just as I imagine my future together with Lucy.


  1. Two thumbs up for Miss Lucy and showing all the guys that she rules, and in such a lady-like way. Actually I have to say the boys handled their introductions quite well though too, even showing their asses somewhat. LOL

    I loved reading about your ride ... wow!

  2. I should have known Lucy would gain the upper hand, er, hoof. Sounds like she's going to be a blast to ride. And closer to the ground is good, says she whose next riding horse will be a frikken giant.

  3. That is excellant that Lucy does not spook easy! How old is she? I donot recall if you mentioned this or not.
    Did smooch go along for the ride?
    Looking forward to the further adventures of Miss Lucy and company :-)
    Theresa in Alberta

  4. Welcome to the Glide Ride Club, Carson! It's the best! :)

  5. Jenny in MN now in AZ2/28/11, 5:45 AM

    Love the introduction to Lucy posts. Great ear action and interpretations. :)

    Gaited horses= awesome! So happy for you! Enjoy!

  6. Tee hee I love it. I was worried that George and Alan would try and bully the new girl on the playground. Go Lucy!

  7. I've got plenty of horse experience under my belt, but no burro experience....What makes introducing the burro boys more difficult than introducing Hank?

  8. I'm just sooo VERY PLEASED for you, Miss Lucy is doing me proud. You're going to have a lot of good memories together. Hope you can get out there today and ride. I hope to get a ride in today, as well.

  9. Ok, I know I'm hopeless at this but could you run through the definitions again? I know the little boys are burros, but what does that make big Lucy?

    Are there a lot of riding-whatevers that Lucy is one of?

    Btw, I know you will be up to the challenge of rigging a hands-free camera to take pix of your next ride. Maybe the snake-who-lives-under-the-barbecue can learn to run it?

  10. Theresa, Lucy is 11.

    Taryn, Hank is the alpha in the herd and I knew Lucy wouldn't challenge him for that position. I also knew that Hank wouldn't chase/bother/play with Lucy because he only does that with other horses. I waited longer to introduce the burros because I wanted Lucy to feel comfortable, settled, and ready to take them on if necessary.

    Clairz, George and Alan are called "burros" because they were born in the wild. Lucy is a "donkey" because she was born in captivity. But all three are the same species, equus asinus. There are three sizes of equus asinus: mini, standard, and mammoth. George and Alan are standards, Lucy is a mammoth. I don't know the population of saddle-trained donkeys; they're not rare, but they're not very common, either.

  11. Congrats to the corral gang. No hide to hoof is great and Ms. Lucy is a well centered donkey and just told the boys to take a hike in a very nice and strong way. Lucy rocks....and the boys are still precious.
    You are the luckiest lady. Burro entertainment, donkey riding, gated even.......smooth. And a devoted bunch of followers who are so excited and happy for you. The Olde Bagg, Linda

  12. Alan is so cute! Love the Back Me up George photo. You can sure see the size difference. What is the gait that Lucy does, is it a singlefoot?

  13. Your patience and care for your animals amazes me. Your love shows in each of these posts. I can see that life for you is such a pleasure with all your adopted "kids".

  14. Congratulations - on adding a new member to the herd and having a fantastic ride!!

  15. I never knew the difference between 'burro' and 'donkey' - thanks!
    Glad to hear how well your ride went. Those gaited critters are amazing...maybe my next equine will move like that!

  16. HI - I have been enjoying reading about Lucy, sounds like you are going to have a lot of fun with her. I have a Saddlebred that I show in three gaited show pleasure and yes they are very fun to ride. I am a Texas girl by birth but have been living in Alberta for the past six years so I completely understand about winters! In fact I am having a snow day today b/c of the blizzard going on outside. Hope you have many enjoyable rides on Lucy.

  17. Didn't realize how large Lucy was when compared to George and Alan until these photos. Thanks for the donkey/burro info. I've loved burros,donkeys since childhood. Anyone else remember Brighty of Grand Canyon?

  18. I didn't know the difference between burros and donkeys either!Great post, and congratulations on your unforgetable ride.

  19. I know they have to get things worked out, but I hate to see the burro brothers mistreated. :) No teeth or hooves were exchanged, but I just love the boys so.
    I'm glad, glad, glad that they've seen fit to be civil.
    Congratulations on a wonderful first ride. Does your face hurt from smiling??

  20. LOVE all of this! So much fun to vicariously experience the herd dynamics. :-) So glad that none were injured during the interactions, and tickled pink that you and Lucy were mutually successful on the outing. YAY!

  21. She told them didn't she! Love all the ear expression.

    Come on over to Spruce Hill, there is something waiting there for you.

  22. Your ride sounds like a big success. I think being closer to the ground is a big plus.

  23. Poor boys, but I like Miss Lucy making her point.

  24. So happy for the both of you....Happy Trails!

  25. I absolutely LOVE the photo of Alan in the 4th photo! Lucy sure let both of the burro boys she is gonna be #2 in the herd. I am thrilled to hear that your ride went so well!

  26. Lucy is one tough girl. Good to see her standing up for herself. Anyway, who wants boy germs on your fresh hay?

    Glad to hear the ride went so well. I have a feeling you're going to be doing a lot of it once the nice weather arrives.

  27. I am so glad you got a ride in. A whole new world to tell us all about. Maybe you can get a cam helmet where we can go with you. I ride a very smooth Tennessee Walker. It is heaven.

  28. Seems Lucy is fitting right in. Good for her for standing up for herself.

    So happy to hear that you got your first ride in and it was awesome. Woohooo!!!

  29. The boys will be just fine being #3 and #4. I think it is a perfect alignment and will provide for a very stable equine herd. You need the mare to be strong in the herd and it shows she can take care of herself AND will take care of you while on your rides.

    Oh, and I'm with Brenda. Yes to the helmet cam!

  30. I am enjoying the education about donkeys/burros. We will all be on your shoulder during your next ride!

  31. So no trouble with saddle fit? I thought it was tough to fit donkey's for some reason.

    Glad they worked out the whole thing so handily. Will you be taking Smooch out for a ride too?

  32. okay... my computer is messed up... have no idea if my post went through... but I just wanted to express an "ahhhhhhh, poor thing" for Alan and share a giggle about the thought of Clairz's suggestion about the snake taking a photo :)

  33. I love the "I'm just standing here being respectful" pic.

    Glad your family is now all together and happy. Looking forward to many more stories about everyone.

  34. Two thumbs up~everything is right in the world at the 7MSN. I'm so happy for you...and the whole herd!

  35. thank you for doing this series on body language because with the clarity of these donkey's expressions, i was able to show my husband the differences between aggressive and defensive postures. i realized recently i was wrong to tell my husband that ears back means aggression in general - that's not true. ears back + moving or looking towards or lowering head is aggressive, ears back + moving away or raising head is a defensive reaction. (although yours seem to drop their heads in submission?)

    i had never really thought about this before. thanks for the illustration.