Well, today was the Eldest Nephew's sixth birthday! (Good grief that kid is growing up fast!)
To celebrate the occasion, and to help distract him while Farm Bro and Farmdad got at least a start on putting together the ginormous new swing set that he got, I brought Rebel in and took him for a ride.
Today was the first day he's rode for more than ten minutes at a time, and it was also the first time he'd gotten to actually handle the reins himself. He was awful proud in his new boots and hat (a pre requisite to getting to ride, at least for the boots, his old ones are getting awfully small) on top of that "Big, Huge" horse.
Of course, getting Rebel in was an adventure in and of itself, since he mysteriously decided to hate the trailer today. Two hours or so of attempting to load, several minor and major altercations with his lead rope, and one phone call to get Farmmom out, I got behind him with a sorting stick and no compunctions about popping him one on the rear end if he tried the same crap with Farmmom on the end of the lead that he did with me, and he walked right in.
Of course, during the battle portion of the day, I had gotten some grain and laid out a nice buffet in the front of the trailer, and tied his lead about halfway in. He was outside the trailer, but couldn't get very far away.
That is, until he sat back and broke the lead. After which he wandered up to the corral gate and looked over it until I came to collect him, then led perfectly back to within about five feet of the trailer. He had no problems going anywhere else, he just didn't want to get in the trailer for love or money today.
I think he figured it wasn't worth the fight when the spots where he'd rubbed the velvet off his nose started to sting.
Regardless, once we got him in the trailer, he was his usual angelic self, and he helped me entertain the munchkin long enough for the frame of the swingset to be set up, about forty five minutes.
At that point, Eldest Nephew was hot, (especially in his spankin-new black felt cowboy hat, which he specifically requested "just like yours Auntie Farmgirl!") I was hot, between the battle with the horse and the ride and having my much beloved but very squirmy nephew sandwitched between me and the swells, and it was time to call it a day.
After all the presents were opened, and cake was eaten, as I was getting ready to leave, he hugged me and whispered in my ear "Rebel is my favorite horse ever... except for Monkey."
Me too, kiddo, me too.