Thursday, April 30, 2015
Dante seems to have a pattern. Every time I take him for a walk in a new area, he has to throw a tantrum the first day—and then he is good after that. This spring, when I go out to see Cole in the evenings, I have been spending some time leading Dante around. Well, on Monday evening, I decided we would go for a walk on the hill. Last month, we walked on the hill a few times in the morning. The first morning he had tantrums—the next one he was fine. Since then, he has been ridden a number of times on the hill with Cole. You would think there would be no problem.
But this is Dante. He can’t do something new the first time perfectly. Though we have led him by himself in the morning and ridden him with Cole, this time I was taking him by himself in the evening—without Ellen by my side. Two things changed—evening and no Ellen.
He cried as I led him down the street and cried on the top part of the hill. He doesn’t have a pretty voice. The closest thing I can compare him to is a Great Blue Heron. Ranger has a trumpeting neigh, Cole has a stallion neigh, Cruiser had a high-pitched squeally neigh, Mingo had a gorgeous, musical neigh—Dante squawks.
When we got to the first part where the hill goes down, Dante threw a temper tantrum. That means his head goes up, he lunges and waves his front legs in the air. Sigh…I circled him, stopped him and asked him to walk—another tantrum. I think we had 5 tantrums to get 10 feet down the steep slope. I honestly don’t know if he wanted to go home or just wanted to go down the hill without me. Since he was crying for his friends, it make sense that he wanted to go home, but once I got him moving, he went very quickly away from home. He had one more tantrum when we got to the flat, center section—and then he behaved like a champ all the way down the hill and back up.
I tried again on Wednesday. He squawked down the street and the upper part of the hill, and then he was quiet. We walked to the bottom and turned around. He stood at the top of the river bank and started crying. Maybe he thought his friends were on the other side? I was just glad he didn’t have any more tantrums.
He definitely needs to spend more time on the trail by himself. I will continue to take him on walks in the evening until I get MerryLegs. Maybe I’ll even take him for a ride.