Saturday, November 2, 2013

My horses' first Halloween party

Today Panama and Rondo participated in their first Halloween party.  (I hung out at the barn's Halloween parties in 2009 and 2010, the last years we had them, but never dressed Panama up for either one -- and I didn't have Rondo at the time.)  The kids I nanny for came too and participated in the costume contest and activities.

V. had dressed up as the cookie monster for school, so we bought Rondo matching blue fleece and put her googly-eyed headband on him (since she'd be wearing a helmet) and made him a cookie monster too.  (The headband was taken off before the group photo, since he freaked out about another horse's costume and I was afraid he'd knock his own headband off and scare himself even more.)

Panama, A., and I were dressed up as the Avengers -- the Hulk, Black Widow, and Nick Fury, respectively.

See how alert Panama looked?  Both of my horses were wigging out about all the costumes, and they weren't alone.  The one that got to Rondo (and a lot of the other horses) was my friend's horse's Darkwing Duck costume.  With all the fabric and the big foam beak, you couldn't even tell there was a horse under there:

The other one that freaked the horses out -- and the one Panama was particularly troubled by -- I didn't get a picture of, but it was a remarkably creative Black Rider costume (from Lord of the Rings).  The horse was draped in black, and the rider was swathed in so much black fabric and netting that you could hardly see her.  Which, I'm sure, was why Panama was so troubled.  Being contrary as I am, I walked him right up to her and asked her to say hi to him so that he would know there was a rider in there.  Both her mother and brother came up to Panama to say hi, which seemed to calm him down, but when the rider took off her helmet and half the fabric came with it, he got about a hand taller.  I was glad we weren't on the horses (and we would have been bareback, on slippery fleece!) when they decided to go bonkers.  As it was, Rondo stepped on poor V.'s foot in his haste to get away from the big purple duck!

As soon as the costume contest was over, we saddled up.  Once the costumes were gone the horses were much calmer, although having a dozen horses in our little indoor was a bit of a stretch.  V. competed on Rondo in barrels, pole bending, flags, and a relay race with me, Panama, and A.  When A. competed, I just led him or walked alongside.  He didn't break any time records, but he had fun and got to participate!  I competed once, but was disqualified because Panama wouldn't get close enough to the barrel to let me pick up the flag, and I gave up (although I mentally marked that "save for later" -- something we need to desensitize to, clearly).  To be fair it was a crowded indoor arena and the horses were all getting antsy with standing around in a big group, waiting for their turn.  Plus Panama was very distracted by several cute mares -- including the Black Rider's horse (who had trailered in for the party... a fresh conquest for my little ladies man!).

After the party we all took some time to ride a little, and the kids' mom actually came out to see them.  (This was only about the third time she had been to the barn in the entire time V. has been riding there, well over a year now, so it was a big deal that she came!)  It was a very fun, but long and exhausting, day!



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