Thursday was warm(er) (9 degrees celsius) and so I hurried home from work because I wanted to ride. I decided to throw a flake of hay into the field to keep Irish happy while Carmen and I worked. As I brought the hay out both horses started running around like two fools. There was a lot of snorting, prancing and farting going on.
In the past I would have tried to stop them. This time I just ignored them and carried on with my chores. When they settled I went and put a halter on Carmen and brought her down to the barn. She was 10 feet tall but came behind me. As we entered the barn I could see that every fibre of her being was telling her to bolt and run. But she never took the slack out of the lead line or pulled back. A fact that I didn't appreciate until later when I was reflecting.
As much as I wanted to ride I thought that it might be better to do ground work. I am so glad that I did. Not because she was bad or hyper but because she was 100% with me the whole time. We alternated between lunging and work in hand and she was completely tuned in. I was very very happy with her and glad that I didn't worry about riding and made it about communication.
Friday I was off but it rained all day. I consoled myself with baking:
And in keeping with current trends, the warm rainy day was followed by a drop in temps and everything freezing. But as sun was out and as the day went on I realized that my ring was thawing and I could ride. This time when I went out into the field everyone was calm and dozing in the sun. As I led Carmen back to the barn she followed along and then put on the brakes and refused to move. I looked back at her puzzled wondering if I would need to do some work on leading when she lifted her tail and had a poop. Her expression was priceless- excuse me for just a second. Then she followed along like a doll.
I did set her up to lunge first to be sure that we were still in sync. As you can see she was wild:
|My marshmallow excited to be returning to work. |
Or dozing in the sun.
And we didn't do half-bad. Not that anyone watching us would have been impressed at all. We are both clearly out of shape marshmallows and we needed extra time to figure stuff out.
What I did love was that we were able to stay together with only one little spook that was over and done quickly. Otherwise we were able to keep the conversation going. When I asked for her first trot to the right she was tight and considering getting pissy. I know that it's a strength issue so I said 'it's okay, I know that you need time to build up strength, don't worry about it, we'll get there'. And right after that she relaxed and let out a breath.
What's cool about things is that I can see big gains in our relationship. I love that she wanted to run away but didn't. Many times when she sees me she gives a little nicker. It's very quiet and sometimes I can't hear it, just see her nostrils quiver. It's adorable and not always about food.