Gentle Giants

At least to me

POSTED: Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:18 pm

Featuring Hazel

Derek watched the horses nearby with almost a nervous unease. The male had been assured that he would be fine, all he was learning was how to get a halter on the horses head. How to tie the rope so it couldn't get lose, and the basics of grooming. Twitching his ears, his blue eyes found the grey dappled gelding that reminded him a bit of Alex in its energetic actions. A fine horse, he wondered if eventually he could trade for it. Scratching his cheek his attention was diverted to the fellow pack member that was going to teach him.

Hazel was the main teacher when it came to livestock...or so he had heard around the pack. The short male was sure he could have asked Milos as well, but the other male seemed busy lately. So Derek had gone with the most logical person to teach him the basics, at least enough that he could halter, lead and brush a horse down. Of course he wanted to learn more than that, but today was about the small stuff. The white male grinned as Hazel drew closer, the female opened the entrance for him and made sure the gate was closed and secured after Derek was in the paddock.

Derek made a mental note of that as they walked to the horse they were using for his lesson. Not the grey dappled he had liked, but a calmer horse that already had halter training. Better to start with a calm horse than one excitable that may not even let him approach it. Hazel held up a halter as they got closer to the horse. “All right, so first, make sure you approach the side of the horse.” her speech was fast and excitable, and he almost couldn't understand her. Almost, Alex could be a lot worse during his rants and excited rambles. She demonstrated by walking to the side of the horse and touching it lightly on the side. Derek followed suit, feeling terribly shorter to the horse though he could manage to reach the back if he really tried to.

Hazel gave him a smile “For the halter, carefully slide it over the nose then head.” he watched as she did it first, he noticed how part of it went almost perfectly behind the ears of the tall animal. Hazel secured the halter then attached the lead rope “You could probably attach the rope before putting on the halter” Hazel took the halter off and handed it to Derek. It took him several tries, mostly because of the height difference between him and the horses head. He figured out that it was better if he waited until the horse lowered it's head naturally then slipped the device on. Still, it felt embarrassing that he couldn't do it on his first try.

Hazel just grinned at him once he succeeded,and had a excited air about her still, which did lessen the embarrassment a bit. “Next we lead it to a post” she pointed “You can do that...make sure to hold the rope in a figure eight shape and not a so” she fixed the rope and showed him how to hold it before they walked to the post, the horse following calmly. Hazel took the rope away from him gently as they got to the post. “To tie it to the post, we use a special knot, watch closely as I do it” Derek nodded in agreement. Hazel first wrapped the rope around the post then it looked like she was dying a normal knot, but she didn't pull the last part completely through to finish off the knot. “It should look like this, and we pull this to loosen it again” she tugged a part and the whole knot fell apart easily “Try it.”

Derek got that part in the first try, he was after all used to making different knots for his traps and pranks. Hazel grinned brightly as he finished “Good, now for brushing” she handed him a brush and had one for herself “Go with the hair, a horse will often bite at you if you do it wrong” she brushed a few strokes, and soon Derek followed her example, running the brush in the direction that he could see the hair laying. It was actually pretty calming just running the brush against the body of the horse. Derek smiled and got lost in the movements, he almost missed a warning from his canine companion. “Watch the feet, a horse can crush your foot if you're not careful” his ears went flat and he eyed the hooves warily as he continued. Hazel chuckled “It doesn't happen too often...the horses don't do it on purpose or anything”

The white wolf nodded, keeping the hooves in his sights at the same time as brushing. His subject moved a little, and he could see how a big animal might step on him by accident. In fact the animal could likely just bowl him right over and not really notice. It made him wonder why he was trying to learn this stuff in the first place...but it was better than not knowing when he did finally get a horse, which was a goal for him lately. “How long does it take to get used to this kind of thing? Being around horses I mean” Hazel looked to him and thought about it “It depends on how fast you learn...but I have been around animals for years and still find out new things” she shrugged “It is similar to being around other people, you're not going to learn everything about them right away” she explained happily. Derek nodded, figuring that made sense.

Hazel smiled warmly “We can do this everyday, and you can also help out around the barn to get used to it even faster.” she looked excited at the idea and her tail was wagging fast. Derek found himself smiling back “I would enjoy that” they spent the rest of the time brushing the horse in silence and took the halter off once they were done, which again meant some compromising on Derek's end, still he hoped he would be able to halter a horse like it was second nature in a short time. “Thanks for the lesson...I will come back to help with the animals for sure” Hazel nodded “If you have any questions, just ask” he smiled and nodded before leaving the paddock and heading to his resting spot to check on his brother.

1,092 words | "Hazel speech"
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