Not Feral

You guys are relentless in your pursuit of Presto updates, which is fortunate considering how much I like talking about Presto. Watching him develop, especially seeing his personality evolve, is one of my single greatest sources of joy. I genuinely missed him while we were in Georgia and Alabama. It’s possible that I’m as obsessed with him as I am with Henry.

llama mode: engage

When I got back last Monday it was pouring rain and I was exhausted, so while I went out and said hi to him and made sure he was still in one piece, I didn’t get him out and mess with him at all until Tuesday. Considering the fact that I do something with him almost every day, I was concerned that he might go a bit feral having two weeks to himself where his only activity was torturing his pet donkeys. His ego gets a little overinflated with them sometimes.

giraffe mode: engage

He was pretty crusty and gross when I got back – dried sweat covered in dirt covered in more dried sweat and more dirt. So the first objective was to give him a bath. He has feelings about that but he knows better by this point than to try anything besides the occasional pawing fit and lots of wiggling. After his bath I tied him in front of the fan to dry for a bit. He had a lot more feelings about THAT.


Yeah, so he definitely didn’t go feral while I was gone, but he DID forget about patience. I suppose things are easy to forget when they don’t exactly come naturally to you. He got to stand in front of the fan until he gave up and stood politely, which is only about 5 minutes in Presto-land, because he’s just not that dedicated to being naughty.

The next day he came in for a grooming


and then I took both boys out for a short walk and a hand graze. Which… why I ever think it’s a good idea to try to handgraze both of those idiots at the same time, I’ll never know. I’m a slow learner, I guess. They are Tweedle Dee and Tweedle ZeroAttentionSpan. They go opposite directions, Presto spends a lot of time pestering Henry, and they inevitably react differently to different things. Their Big Brother/Little Brother dynamic is strong and I get to play Mom the Mediator.

I am way too entertained by this
It took him 10 minutes to summon the courage…
to bite Henry.
Turns out Henry bites back a lot harder and faster.

Throughout the week I slowly started adding all of Presto’s normal activities back in, as he remembered his place in the world. He’s FINALLY got a nice shiny coat coming in underneath all the gross remnants of long bleached hair on his shoulders and stomach, so I’ve been currying the heck out of him every day. If he looks like crap for FEH Championships it won’t be for a lack of trying. He’s already REALLY faded though, and we haven’t even hit the worst of summer. Not much I can do about the buckskin part… he’s not gonna live inside all summer just for the sake of a horse show.

Fancy buckskin complete with fly spray streaks

After his grooming I turned Presto and Henry out in the little front paddock with the best grass. I never really get tired of watching them interact. Henry is so smart about dealing with him… he does not put up with the baby bullshit, but he also knows not to be too rough with him. Luckily Presto is also very easily intimidated by Henry, so Henry never really has to escalate beyond pinned ears, a raised foot, or some squealing.

although sometimes Presto doesn’t make the best decisions about where to put his face

On Sunday my plan was to hop on Henry and pony Presto a bit, just for a short walk. Technically Henry is on summer vacation, but a) he likes hacking, b) sometimes being a big brother with actual responsibilities sucks. So I tossed my half pad and sidepull on, jumped aboard, and out we went. Oh, and the Significant Other wanted to bring the dogs to the barn to run around a bit, so I actually have ponying pictures. It was also the SO’s first time seeing Presto since he was just a wee tiny foal. Fun fact, it doesn’t matter how many times you ask the completely non-horsey SO “BUT ISN’T HE STUNNING/AMAZING/MAGNIFICENT/THE BEST?”, you will never get more than a halfhearted “um yeah, he’s cute…” *nervous laugh as he realizes he’s in the presence of a genuine Crazy Horse Lady* in response.

the SO and Henry see eye to eye on that one
little buckskin gets bigger every day!

At the end I hopped off and handed Henry to SO to hold while I did a little bit of in-hand work with Presto out in the field. With horses in the pastures nearby, dogs running around, etc, I thought it was a good opportunity to practice his Pay Attention skills (or lack thereof). When we were done I led Presto back over to them and he immediately reached up, grabbed the half pad off of Henry, and flung it. SO found this hilariously funny, and I think Presto actually won him over at that point. They are both turds.

So Presto did lose a little bit of his patience skills, but otherwise he made it through the 2 weeks of inattention without going feral. If anything, he seems even more eager to see me every day. I’ll never get tired of that face meeting me at the gate.

20 thoughts on “Not Feral

  1. Haha Nick has learned that when I start spazzing about Frankie, the best response is, “yeah he’s definitely better than other horses.” Which then sets off another round of OMG RIGHT I KNOW. Presto totally looks like a real horse nowadays!



    Mark is on the opposite end of the spectrum. he thinks the sun shines out of Remus’s ass and I have to remind him um be careful he will WALK on you, he will walk over you, he does not give a shit if you don’t make him stand. I fly off tomorrow to leave Mark to take care of Remus so this SHOULD be interesting. I asked Mark as he left for work today you do remember how to put a halter on right? SMH. But glad Presto did not go to nutsy while you were away. He is the cutest. And nothing wrong with buckskin:) HA HA Poor Henry putting up with his baby brother….the expressions…


  3. Having a genuine schoolmaster to “deal with ” the babies is THE BEST! Jaguar literally raised Coco and kind of Sterling. Kudos to Henry, he’s a very good boy!


  4. So I’m the oldest of 3 siblings in my family, and my younger brother and sister are twins. I don’t remember that much from when we were all really young, but I DO remember that when they got old enough to start walking and my mom would try to take us all out to run errands, my brother and sister were notorious for running in opposite directions with no warning AT THE SAME TIME. This reminds me of Henry and Presto handgrazing with you, LOL.

    At least they don’t have a big sister putting excellent ideas into their heads? LOL


    1. That’s EXACTLY what it feels like. Or so I imagine, anyway, since I don’t have actual human children. But sometimes I’m like “BOTH OF YOU, STOP IT!”… and I feel like a mom, hard core.


  5. Amanda, did you see your picture from Chatt featured on the Riding Warehouse post yesterday (I think)? The comments were about your new helmet, and how sharp you and Henry looked!

    Oh, and I thought about you and Presto while watching a commercial for Clinton Anderson – as much as I hate acting anything remotely like a fanboy, he does have some pretty cool videos of working younger horses, from foals up until they are riding age. Sending over obstacles, etc. I wouldn’t pay the money for the entire set of videos, but I bet there are some good clips on youtube.


    1. He’s such a cheeky little shit. Henry is so cheeky too, but it’s like Presto comes around and all the sudden Henry is so high class and refined. Lies. Total lies.


  6. Ahahaha! I can totally see him grabbing the half pad. I’m not brave enough to pony Bast off Pig bareback. Serious lady balls you must have! Those dressage knee rolls have helped me stay on too often! Ponying the dog bareback feels precarious enough. Lol!


    1. It’s harder to keep him OFF of us most of the time, there isn’t much jostling on my part except for when I stick my leg out to kick the baby AWAY. But the one time I’ve ever had to drop the rope was no big deal, Presto wouldn’t ever dream of leaving Henry. Velcro kid. Major velcro kid.


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