Before coming to us, Sun Rae was used to living in a stall in a barn, and working in an arena or a round pen.
She competed, and did barrels and poles. Then she came to us and was suddenly expected to mingle with other horses and walk down trails in the woods. It scared her.
She didn’t make friends easily, like the other horses did. Willow, our Belgian mare, terrified her initially, and she would want to keep her eye on Willow at all times. She would become agitated if Willow was out on a trail ride. When she couldn’t see Willow, Sun Rae would weave back and forth in her stall and call out until Willow came back.
We normally try to pair a new horse with a buddy, so they adjust more quickly to their new home, but Sun Rae wouldn’t buddy up to anyone. She hated the trail. We were at a loss what to do with her, so we put her up for sale, thinking that maybe if we rehomed her, someone would give her her old job back, and she’d be happy.
But slowly, over the course of more than a year, things are beginning to change. She’s warming up to one or two of our other horses…..Starbuck seems to be accepting her as a friend. Willow no longer terrifies her. She does not break into a nervous sweat on the trails any more. She’s much calmer under saddle, now that she understands that she does not have to run full blast when someone gets on her…..
These are some pictures taken today of Brittany working with her. It’s a gloomy, rainy day, but her pretty palomino coloring pops against the clouds….
I love our trails. They are different from week to week…month to month…season to season…..And they never get boring.
One of the things that has always surprised me here in Florida is that you almost always see butterflies while riding the trails.
Here are some of the ones I seen, whose picture I have taken…
….Zebra Longwing, our Florida State Butterfly…
…and a Great Southern White….
Of course I wasn’t on horseback when I took these pictures…photographing a butterfly is surprisingly difficult because they never seem to sit still. But, once you are aware of them, they are easy to spot as you’re riding along on your horse. Enjoy!
We have Nigerian Dwarf goats and Barbados black belly sheep.
After trying our numerous varieties for our Petting Zoo, we settled on these two breeds. Barbados Black Belly sheep are perfect for warm climates like ours here in Florida, because they have no wool. We do have to shear some of our animals sometimes, but I personally don’t enjoy that chore.
Nigerian dwarf goats are small and colorful and friendly, and we really enjoy this breed!
The sheep and the goats have their own separate pens, but they also have a common area where they can mingle with the other small animals and eat hay. Our Billy and our Ram seem to enjoy each other’s company, and we often see them hanging out in the shade together, away from their girls.
…. They must be discussing their respective harems… 🙂
Friday was farrier day at Sun City Stables. All the horses, including the miniature horses, get their feet trimmed…. …this is Drummer…. …and Casanova…. The hooves are clipped with a nipper…. …and then filed with a file…. ….a rather big file… Our horses generally are good about getting their feet done. They will often just stand quietly by themselves while Chris works on their feet. Like Clyde… Out of the 29 horses that live here, only 2 or 3 are problem children about getting their hooves trimmed….. This time around only one of them was difficult….I won’t tell on her, but she’s big and blonde and beautiful….:) Hi, Willow…… 🙂
Riding bareback is great. It’s nice not to have to bother with a saddle and just hop on a horse….. What’s better than riding bareback? Riding double bareback…. ….on a goofy Tennessee Walkerwith REALLY dirty feet and a soda in your hand…. ….like Montana and Mark…. (and, yes, Delight, our Walker, is goofy…ask anyone who knows him…but that’s a story for another day….).
Many tourists who visit Florida either plan to head to the beaches, go sight seeing, or choose to enjoy the nature and wildlife. A preferred activity for those who choose to enjoy the nature and wildlife is horseback riding. In Florida, there are a variety of trails designed for horseback riding. Stables such as Sun City Stables give you an opportunity to rent a horse and ride on these trails either with a guide or without. The special thing about stables such as Sun City Stables is that they do not force you to be accompanied on a ride with a guide. Sun City Stables is also known to allow customers to ride by themselves without a guide, or to hire a guide, whichever they choose.
Trail riding in Florida is a wonderful experience for those who have never gone horseback riding. Florida viewed from the back of a horse is just a little different from a nature walk or a bike ride…..
The experience is well worth your while
. Paso Finos Clyde, Frieda and Valentino…doing their thing…