dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Blue Skies

Carmen ended up with both Friday and Saturday off.  The original plan for Saturday was to ride in the morning and then head into Halifax to meet up with friends. We were going to sail in the harbour and then go to dinner downtown. I couldn't wait- the weather was supposed to be glorious.

But on Thursday my phone rang, with a sinking heart I saw that it was the man we buy our hay from. The weather has been so good that the hay was ready a bit earlier this year. I was disappointed but there was nothing to do about it. I cancelled our plans and we prepared to get the hay in. Our friends decided to give up sailing and come help us bring in the hay.


A full barn of hay is a beautiful sight
Quality Control had to check it out to make sure the it met standards

With their help and the larger trailer it took very little time to get the hay in. After we cleaned up and then sat on the deck enjoying wine/beer and some snacks. We headed into a local town for dinner. After dinner Ed and Andrew headed off for a 3 day golf trip. Cynthia stayed over night with me and we rode in the morning.

As we headed out to the field Irish started moseying out to the back. It was actually kind of funny- they matched out pace exactly. Carmen was not sure if this was the best of ideas but Irish was firm. Once they reached the back Irish stood and waited for Cynthia to put the lead over his neck. Carmen looked at me and thought about walking off. I waited and then she began to chew and turned back to me while I put it on her head.

I did some ground work- she was not worried about anything but pinned her ears when I asked her to trot. This is the same as her resistance under saddle and I was happy to be able to work on this from the ground. I also repeated the lesson of telling her to 'line up' at the mounting block. She did really well at this . When I put on her bridle and lined her up she was perfect. I mounted and immediately her ears were back on me waiting for me to tell her what to do. This is such a change from before where her attention was on everything else but me. I counted to 30 and then I started to ride her.

And it was wonderful.

Okay. Not that we looked wonderful. I'm sure we did not. But there were a lot of things that made my heart sing:
- we were able to go in all spots of the ring and I could use what Royce taught me to show her what I wanted. And the truth is that she really wasn't too worried. There was one spot in the tall grass where we heard a lot of peeping- I think that there was a bird nest in there. This caused some worry on her part but we worked through it.
- when she would not go forward when asked I would use either a quick kick or a tap with a crop. She didn't buck when I had to do this- instead she went forward.
- she was able to really appreciate the rests and they were always in the corners.
-after resting she went back to work with no fuss.
-I even did a bit of pushing with her to see how she would react and she didn't become spooky or try to run off.
- we practised transitions and straightness.
- About 3/4 of the way in her ears started to get floppy again. It was a beautiful sight.

Carmen was finally truly trusting me and letting me lead. She didn't need to worry about things- that was my job. She would let me know when she was worried and then accept my direction about what to do do. She didn't need to save herself.

I was finished our work and stood resting down by troll corner. Cynthia rested with us and we chatted while the horses stood quietly.
Just a minute I said to Cynthia, I want to try something. 

I did a turn on the haunches and we walked towards the gate. When we got close, I side passed up to it. She stood there and I reached down and picked up the board. I slowly lifted it then let one end fall. Carmen didn't move. I walked her forward a couple steps and then reached for the board end that was sticking up. She sniffed it curiously. I then walked her forward and I brought the board forward so that the entrance was wide open. She could have cared less.

We then walked down to the barn behind Irish. She was perfectly quiet and calm about all of it.

I couldn't help but think of the conversation I had with Ed the day before when we were on our way to get the hay- he commented that he had seen a real change in Carmen while I was away and he was doing the chores. I was glad to hear that because it tells me about how she is doing then how she is with me.

 He then said confidently I believe that she's going to work out. 

I think that he might just be right.

Blue Days
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies 
From now on

(probably will still be cloud days but that is fine)

a photo from early May


  1. There is nothing like a barn full of hay. I am having some anxiety over this as I have passed up several chances to fill the barn with beautiful hay and be done. I am waiting to, hopefully, get more mature hay to feed my fat hogs, but passing up on all this nice hay is giving me a stomach ache.

    I am so glad all your hard work with Carmen is paying off.

  2. Great news. I'm so happy everything is falling into place :)

  3. Oh this is awesome! Royce was the best thing for the two of you, wish he was closer here I'm sure I could use him (and my horses too)

  4. What a good feeling!! My mare was very slow to trust me (in ways probably different and slightly less complicated than Carmen) but once we were there, we were THERE.

  5. Having hay in the barn is better than money in the bank for horse people! 😀

    And sounds like you and Carmen are past your turning point and on the right path for a beautiful partnership, yay!

  6. I've been MIA for a while and I just caught up. I'm so glad that you and Carmen are on the same page ( or getting there :P ). I hope things continue to improve for both of you!

  7. I'm jealous you got your hay in already. We always wait until 2nd cutting alfalfa comes in and we have a supplier for our round bales of grass who delivers as needed, but I worry about my alfalfa from year to year. I need to get on that and reserve my 2nd cutting. I'm glad to read you're getting that good feeling about Carmen. I'm looking forward to feeling that someday with Leah. But relationships take time. :)


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