Tricks are for Kids

Clifford the Wild Morgan!

After the longest, hardest winter of our life, I decided to haul Cliffy downstate and get him back in shape for our tour.  He needs muscle tone and in fact, hasn’t even shed all his winter hair yet.  Maybe he was afraid it would never end.

After two days’ rest, I took him out on the longe for a light workout.  He was slogging along a bit.  He didn’t want to longe normally, instead preferring to turn toward me and rear, do his fancy footwork and trying some other tricks.   He doesn’t like doing normal horse stuff.

Despite this, I persisted and he finally did some reluctant trotting.  I thought at 22, perhaps he was feeling his age.  I thought some muscle tone and supplements might help.  Pretty soon he stopped and had that “look of eagles”.  I snapped a couple of quick photos before I realized that he was watching a lady and little girl walk down the road.

“Trot!”  I said, urging him to get back to work.  He shook his head and sprang into motion.  When he did, it was like slow motion.  He had that beautiful lift, his long neck arched, his legs moving in suspended elegance, and I watched the years fall away.  He was tipping one ear toward the little girl.  He made one circle around me, and then he kept on going, pulling the line out farther and farther as he made a beeline for the road where she was walking.

“He likes kids,” I explained to the pair, as I pulled him back.

“We were watching his tricks!” the lady called.  “We think that’s neat!”

I almost called them into the yard.  Clifford was so focused on the girl that we both watched them wistfully as they kept going, farther and farther away from us.

I realized again, that this is his calling.  His interest is not in working and perfecting his training.  His interest is in connecting with people, particularly children.  He is an ambassador, a playmate, a performer and a clown.

We need to get some weight and muscle on him.  He wants to go back to work.  He is ready.

Age 22 and still going strong!


About Nancy J. Bailey

Artist, author, bad karaoke singer. Woodsy ragamuffin. Mom of a horse named Clifford who plays fetch and paints with watercolors. He visits libraries and schools with me, to promote literacy and making the world a better place. Yes, he is house trained, no, he doesn't live in my house! I have written three books about Clifford. But my newest book, THE NORTH SIDE OF DOWN, is co-written by my awesome sister Amanda, who has Down syndrome. Her unexpected one-liner wisecracks can always make me laugh. If you make me laugh, you've made my day!
This entry was posted in Clifford, horse, morgan, training, tricks. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tricks are for Kids

  1. Christine says:

    Sounds like he indeed loves them!


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