If you've been with me for a while, you might notice that she looks just like Dad's gelding, Cinderfella. They are full siblings from the same Palomino Quarter Horse mare (Cinderella Sox) and our Paint stallion - Sunday Sailor.
Cinderelly is a very big, gorgeous girl. She loves to work cattle and enjoys going on mountain trial rides and now playing in the ocean. She and I really bonded when my friend invited me to the coast for a week a few summers ago. I took Cindy even though she hadn't been off the ranch very much. She is such a good-minded horse that I wasn't too worried about how she'd act (her brother Fella is a whole 'nother ballgame!).
Horses have a natural instinct for "fight or flight" that has been bred into them from antiquity. Fella is immediate "flight" - he'll spin around and just leave if he's frightened by something. This can make for some VERY interesting rides with him. Cindy on the other hand leans more towards the "fight" instinct. If she is startled, she will stop and quickly access the situation. She'll also take a cue from me to see if I'm scared. She may stand there and shake a bit, but she won't flee at super top speed like big bro does.
When Cindy saw (and heard) the ocean for the first time, she stopped dead in her tracks. We had rounded a bend between two cliffs that lead to the beach. The roar of the surf was almost deafening since it was sort of a tunnel we were walking towards. While a couple of the other horses freaked out and said "See Ya!", she just stood there shaking and taking it all in. When I gently urged her forward, she obliged and on we went to the sand.
The first day I could barely get her to put her feet on the wet sand at the edge of the water. She'd jump back and not let the water touch her hooves. By the end of the week my supergirl was jumping in the water and playing in the surf up to her chest with me on her back. We did a lot of running full-bore on the packed sand up and down the beach. It was magnificent! Just like my Blondie Bear. I love her dearly and enjoy my time with her immensely.
Cinderelly may be having a baby next year. We are discussing breeding her again as she had a magnificent foal two years ago. (I've promised Mr. MoonCat that we can keep this one and raise it, as we ended up selling "Hank the Tank" when he was weaned.) I will keep you updated on our plans for the Blondie Bear and possible Baby Bear..
Note: These photos are a not current. Blondie Bear is currently very shaggy with her winter coat and covered in lots of mud! She enjoys being a dirty, dirty girl....