Here is Mo (short for Moonbeam). He is a Haflinger who stands 15 hands and weighs...well, we're not sure, but a heck of a lot!
Mo is visiting us on a month trial basis. I bought him for the purpose of riding, primarily, with the hopes of eventually driving him. He has previously been driven and used as part of a team of two for farm chores and also competition. His riding, as I am finding out, has been of no particular discipline, but rather, because of his good nature, he will allow anyone to "ride" him. This was evident the first time I met him as 5 Amish children were crawling all over him and riding him in a round pen.
Mo's first day at Bee Haven Acres gave him a chance to meet "the boys"...he is segregated in a field of his own, but right over the fence from the rest of our herd. The first several hours of his day were spent racing Briggs and Donny Brasco (a.k.a. Pony) along the fence until all of them were soaked with sweat.
And every good horse knows that a roll in the dirt helps to keep the flies away!
Mo's first night was spent out in the grazing pastures just accross the fence from his new buddies. So far so good.....no problems. Mo seemed very willing to do whatever was required of him.
And so came day number two and time for a test. Time to see how Mo responds with rider on his back. He had no issues being tacked up and was very willing to pick up his feet. Ok, one foot in the stirrup, and up...........ahhh, on his back....feels good so far. Now lets see how he responds to the bit. Hmmmm.....where is the gas peddle. Ok, we're walking, walking, walking....10 steps and stop. "Come on Mo, WALK." (dig in the heels a little) Ok, we're walking....what, no left turn? This could be tricky. It's kind of hard to go anywhere if you can only make right hand turns. "Come on Mo, LEFT!" (pull on the left rein)...no response. "G Mo, G"....no response. Well, this little interchange went on for several minutes and then Mo finally gave up and listened....but only for about 15 minutes. At that point he decided he had had enough and took off or the barn. Now we're trotting.....fast trot....canter....gallop......"Holy Sh---, Mo, Whoa! Whoa!!!!"...oh Good Lord no brakes either.
Well, if this had been last summer, I surely would have taken a nasty spill. But I have worked hard to strengthen my seat and somehow I managed to stay on. We arrived at the barn, Mo barely breathing hard, and me whitefaced, heart pounding, holding the breath that I was sure would be my last. What a ride.....not one I'd like to repeat! Well, so much for day 2.....28 more to go before I decide if I am going to keep this handsome, crazy horse.