Meet the Inmates Part 2 – Harlem and Takira
After giving Flurry and Aero their hay and putting Aero’s fly mask on, my next stop is the stabled horses. There are three of them, Harlem, Takira and Rivaldo.
Harlem and Takira are brothers, in that they have the same owner. They’re two retired old boys, both in their early twenties. They’ve been at the farm the longest of all the livery horses.
Takira is a thoroughbred. He’s got typical TB thin skin – he hates to be brushed and, in the winter, when he’s coated in mud, it’s a terrible ordeal for him to have it brushed off. But he loves to roll…
He was still being ridden when I arrived here, but then his Girl went away to college and now he’s fully retired. He’s a nice little guy who can be a bit timid, so he gets pushed around by Harlem and Rivaldo quite a lot. Although he and Harlem have lived together for years, he quickly became best friends with Rivaldo when he arrived two years ago. He REALLY loves his carrots and whinnies every time he sees them coming! Being a skinny little TB, he can be difficult to keep weight on in winter.
Unlike his ‘brother’, Harlem has the physique of a pregnant elephant. He’s a Selle Français and he’s a complete clown. Put his head-collar on and he starts playing with the lead rope before I’ve even done the buckle up. He’s also that One Horse who has to have a special bolt on his stable door, otherwise he opens it as soon as your back is turned. Literally. Normally, I take all three horses out together when I turn them out in the morning. I put on all their head-collars while they stand at their doors, and I take the special bolt off Harlem’s door so I’m not fiddling around with it while holding on to Takira and Rivaldo. Then I take Rivaldo and Takira out of their stables, with Harlem coming out last as he’s nearest the barn door. One morning, I foolishly opened the lower bolt on Harlem’s door, thinking that he wouldn’t have time to open the top bolt before I was ready to take him out. Nope. Five seconds later, I was at Rivaldo’s door when I heard CLIP CLOP behind me, as Harlem wandered off to inspect the bale of hay! His latest trick is closing the top bolt if I leave it open (with the bottom one latched, of course!). Funny boy!
Rivaldo deserves a blog post all of his own, so he’ll be next.