Fraidy Cats

With the beautiful weather we’ve had here in Saskatchewan lately, my husband has had the good fortune of being able to utilize his outdoor arena a little more these days. Last Thursday, some of our little reiners-to-be on the other side of the arena fence also got to partake in the training session.

At first we thought their curiosity was simply “cute,” but as Clay’s training time progressed on the palomino mare he was riding, the colts became downright hilarious.

Our reiners-to-be. Aka, the 2010 foal crop.

For kicks, Clay took his mare over to the foals to make friends.

First one brave foal came to greet the palomino, then another and another until all 7 finally came up. Many engaged in equine “baby talk”, acknowledging that Clay’s mare was the alpha horse by gumming the air. The foals were very curious.

However, the meet and greet party couldn’t last forever. Clay and Porsche had to work to do and with the space in the outdoor arena allowing for the perfect practice of rundowns, Clay began putting Porsche through the paces of a large rectangle shape in anticipation for a sliding stop. The foals stood vigil from their post on the other side of the fence.

In this exercise, instead of asking Porsche to stop at the end of the rundown (which occurs essentially at the end of one of the long sides of the rectangle), he simply pushes up her speed gradually from one end to the other and turns the corner. There is no stopping involved. With this type of practice he can work on the mare’s gradual build up of speed, without her anticipating the stop maneuver every time.

It was at this point where we saw the colt’s eyes bug out of their heads…

Even though was Porsche was beginning her rundown exercise on the north side of the arena and the foals were standing more south of her,  the speed at which she was approaching the fence must have startled them. You could literally see the wheels turning in their heads until one foal finally yelled… “OMG!! She’s coming! Ruuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnn!!!!”

With wide eyes and nostrils and tails cocked up like Arabians, they bolted.

Clay was laughing so hard, I thought he might fall off his horse and I could barely hold my camera properly. Poor little baby reiners. Maybe someday you’ll understand…


  1. Oh Clay – you are having waaay too much fun :).