Wednesday, August 27, 2008

last wknd's horse adventure

Last weekend was an easy weekend, in that there wasn't a lot to do, so we decided to take Naief to one of the riding schools in Sa'ar to see the horses. It was Friday and this particular stable was closed, but there were guys there cleaning and they allowed us to go in.

The place was huge with more than 25 stables, all full of horses of various colors and sizes. They were so beautiful. I love horses. Always have, but there's a small part of me that is afraid of them for some reason. I'm not afraid of donkeys or mules (they are extremely gentle creatures), but horses ... I don't know, I get a little spooked sometimes.

Naief seems to have taken on that same feeling... for he loves looking at them, and loves when me and daddy make horse sounds when we're looking at pictures, singing or playing, but to get up close, it frightens the day lights outta him! ;)

When we walked in, there were a few horses that started naying... (is that the right word?!!), so he and I walked over to the stable area with daddy going right up to one of the biggest ones there, talking and gently rubbing this big animal. I started, slowly, to walk to where he was, but as soon as I got even a little close, Naief started screaming with fright. This is the 2nd time this has happened.. the first being when we stopped along the side of the road one day when some guys were out riding horses... he did the same, but I figured it was because it was his first time up close to such a big animal.

So... I backed up and we walked around to the other side of the stables where there were three huge riding areas. One horse that was out was so very old. Don't think I've ever seen a horse this old... made me a bit sad for some reason.. and then in the other area there were two huge, and I mean HUGE, male horses. They immediately came to the fence as we approached, but since Naief started squirming, I didn't go too close. Hashim soon followed and went right up to one of them and the horse took right to him. He loved Hashim, matter of fact. He started licking him, allowed Hashim to hug him, so I went a little closer, stuck out my arm - let him smell me - and then tried to pet him and the horse did this snort thing that caused a huge gush of air to come from his nostrils, so I backed up a bit. Maybe he could sense Naief's uneasiness and mine.. not sure, but even still, he was so beautiful, and I loved standing there watching as Hashim rubbed him, talked to him... and such.

Wish I had taken apples...

We walked further down to where there were two women out w/ the horses. One was bathing a horse, while the other woman took one out into the riding area and worked w/ him. There were two dogs running around and one came right up to me and Naief, jumping up to say hello, which caused Naief to cry. I bent down, but it scared Naief too much and the dog ran away. I tried again, later, to call the dog to come to us, but he wanted no part of the child that was in my arms! ;)

Naief loved Cody, my sister's dog, when we were in California, and, at some point, we want to get a dog, but I guess he's being overly cautious right now and is afraid of most everything it seems. I've noticed his uneasiness around strangers a bit as well, so I'm assuming it's a stage.

Anyway... I loved this place. They had cats roaming around ... which very much pleased Naief. I let him down and he ran after a few of them, but since they were content not to be bothered by anyone, they ran away as soon as he got close. :)

Hashim and I talked about getting a horse or starting riding lessons... it would be really nice to be able to do either... altho I think having a horse would be a lot of work... and I'm not sure either of us have the time to devote to such, but it would be fun to take some riding lessons or at least go and visit the horses more often.

As we were leaving, we heard the dogs barking from the BSPCA that is just across the dirt road (probably 10 steps away). You couldn't see inside, but it sounded as though there were 20 or so dogs inside. It's sad to think about those dogs wanting and needing a home... only to be put down after a few days if no one has adopted them. Sad that so many ppl refuse to take care of their animals and so many wind up paying the price for it. I wish ppl had a different attitude towards animals in these parts. So many see it as a burden instead of something that can light up your life in so many ways and bring joy to all around them, especially children.

But anyway....

oh yeah... about a week 1/2 ago, me, Hashim and Naief were outside in the front yard and guess who we heard? Henry!!! There's no mistaking his call. I was so happy. It's weird because I had been thinking about him just a few days before that, so I was just thrilled to hear him. I called back to him and looked around, up in the trees, but saw nothing. I really hope it was him and, if so, I'm really glad to know he's still alive!


Chief Rock Chef said...

Henry? One of your cats, if I remember right? Good to hear he is OK!

Horses are funny animals - IMO you are either "horsy" or not!

Um Naief said...

chief rock chef, henry's a large indian parakeet that we set free last year. his partner, fonda, had been let go by a woman we had working for us and he was never the same after it. i was fearful he would die, not knowing how long he had been caged, but when i heard him, i felt good that he's surviving. it took him a long while to actually fly out of his cage.. my having given him many opportunities to do so, and on the day that i wasn't, he decided to fly away when i opened his cage door - to my amazement - but it thrilled me like you wouldn't believe. and i agree about the horses. i hope to post a pic of hashim w/ the horse.. if he'll ever send it to me! ;)

Chief Rock Chef said...

Hm, I clearly didn't remember right!

Very kind of you to let him go like that. I would have thought he had a good chance of being OK where you are. It seems that there are now parakeets and similsr things surviving over here now too. I have no idea what they are eating, but there must be something out there.

The Moody Minstrel said...

The correct word is "neighing".

The "snort" that caused air to gush onto your arm was probably a sneeze. Horses do sneeze a lot, and if you're not accustomed to it it can sound kind of intimidating. I'm sure the horse had no problem with you.

Ah, horses! I grew up living next to a large pasture in which there were two horses. One was a bit older and had a very gentle personality (and I got to ride him a few times). The other, younger one had a reputation for being "ornery", i.e. he could be aggressive. He also hated strangers, and would often chase intruders that tried to cut across the pasture. He did nip me a few times, and he even kicked me once (not very hard) when I made the stupid mistake of running up close to him from behind, but I made friends with him. (Giving the horses our greener weed clippings and an occasional extra carrot from the garden probably helped.) I used to walk right up to him and pet him inside the fence, which freaked out his owners!

I wish I'd had as much luck with the horse I was assigned to ride to get my horsemanship badge in the Boy Scouts. He tolerated my scratching his nose and ears, but he wouldn't obey my commands at first and even tried to throw me off when I persisted. I think he eventually just gave up, and that's why I got the badge.

Horses come in all sorts and can be unpredictable. Same with kids. I've seen kids go through freak-out phases where everything scared them and then get over it. I've seen others (like my son) remain "fraidy-cats" from then on. You just never know.

Um Naief said...

chief rock chef, yeah, i blogged about henry a long time ago... :) there are tons of wild ones here. i guess they eat the various berries, dates and such, and then leaves.. probably same in your part. surprising that they like the weather in the UK, altho i'd bet they love the rain.

moody, i would have loved to grow up next to a pasture. they're intelligent, i've heard. makes me think obviously so based on how the horse easily could have kicked you in a way that to seriously injure you, but didn't, only took nips instead of bites... he loved ya from the beginning! :) i had a similar experience w/ a horse, but it was when i took a ride type of thing at this place... an hour trip or something and the horse i had wouldn't obey my commands, started running.. scared me.

i had no idea that they sneeze like that. that's prob what it was because he didn't seem agitated or anything. he had such beautiful eyes. i'm adding a photo to this blog... i hope it shows how beautiful.

didn't know you could feed them carrots. the next time we go, i'm gonna take some. there was one horse there, in a small enclosure, that rocked back and forth, letting his tongue hang down,sorta rubbing his mouth and tongue up against the wall w/ each rock. i wondered if it was from a lack of attention, being kept enclosed for a long period or something. have you ever heard of such? it felt wrong... like something was wrong.

Christopher said...

Awww Henry! I remember when you had set him loose, goodness...has it been a year already?

Now if you were to have a horse or do lessons, would you do "English" or "Western"? I had horseback riding lessons when I was younger, we were given a horse to take care of and we had to clean their stalls as well as brush them down and put the bridle on ourselves and our saddles, etc...quite a lot of fun for a kid like me...Horses are funny creatures! I do hear that when they are feeling especially ornery and are charging towards you, you are to stand your ground and not move to show your dominance....not me...I'd scream and run like the poof that I am!

Olivia said...

How on earth has Henry survived in that environment?

Oh trust Minstrel to correct you first. Hehe :)

I love horses and dogs - they're so beautiful, and I'm so deprived of animals I practically melt when I see a cat, which I never cared for before, and sparrows, which are the birds you never look at usually. So I may think of getting one, since roomie says that she used to have one here. I'd go for a society finch since they're well behaved little things.

Plus I didn't get the job at the vet's practice, and I will need to come home to an animal to help me unwind with this dental job.

Anyway, back to Naief, I guess it is a phase of his, another aspect of the terrible twos.
Just get him used to animals of all sizes and soon he'll be begging you to see them.

One Wink at a Time said...

Good post :-)
"Neighing" is hard to say, isn't it? Sounds like "Ning" said with a southern drawl ;-)
Sounds like Naief is very protective of you.

Angry In Oman said...

aww poor Naief couldn't catch a break with those animals!

Sounds like you all had fun anyway.

Rain said...

Hello Um Naief,

The comment has nothing to do with the post but....

Happy Birthday to you :)))))))

may all your wishes come true , have a great birthday.

Um Naief said...

rain, i can't hardly believe you remembered.... :) thank you!!

i have totally forgotten yours.. but i know you're a virgo! :), so it must be soon. puppy's is coming and another friend of mine's is tomorrow.