Friday morning Carmen and I had a short ride before leaving. I thought that it would help us both if she was a bit tired for the journey. Our ride was pretty good- we're definitely growing in consistency in our training.
I finished packing the trailer and ate a quick lunch. Carmen self-loaded on to the trailer which I was pleased with since this was our first trailer trip of the year. The drive was uneventful. If you don't count my anxiety about trailering. I was exhausted by the time I got there. But Carmen travelled beautifully and unloaded like a dream.
Here's the thing that got me excited: In the past every time I take Carmen to a new place she requires a lot of persuasion to enter the barn. She will balk and often I need someone behind me to assist. It can take a long time to get where we need to. That happened when she first came home too. This time she walked behind me. When she would hesitate I would stop briefly, let her look and then put a gentle pressure on the the halter. As soon as she yielded I released. It was a testament to the trust that we have built up that she walked quietly (albeit tentatively) behind me, past all sorts of bags, horses, and barn 'stuff' and into her stall. After getting her bedded in and relaxing, I sat outside her stall and ate some egg sandwiches I had made. Carmen hung her head out of her stall and we kept each other company.
After a bit I took her into the arena to lunge. Five Fires Equestrian Centre is relatively new venue and it has a beautiful indoor- light and airy:
|photo from the website|
I put her in her stall, left some hay to be given to her later and headed to my friends' house to spend the night. They had supper waiting for me so technically I had two suppers. It was great to catch up on what was going on and see how great they are doing. I headed to bed early and ended up sharing my bed with one of their dogs on one side of me and a cat on the other. It was very cosy.
The next morning I gassed up the truck and bought a coffee and yogurt to take with me. I had already had a muffin and coffee at my friends house so I technically had two breakfasts. I'm essentially a hobbit.
At the barn Carmen nickered when she saw me. I fed her and picked out her stall and then hung with her drinking my coffee. She tried to steal the granola topping for my yoghurt. After I took her out to the outdoor ring - which will be the warm up ring for the show. I was so impressed with how quiet and calm she was in the outdoor. She was curious but not worried. We lunged out there briefly and I then put her back in her stall so I could watch some lessons. She called a bit in the morning but was not too bad.
|exploring the outdoor|
I was thrilled with how relaxed and curious Carmen was. She wanted to meet everyone and was generally just on her most charming behaviour. I was starting to really look forward to my lesson.