Fortunately I had Guinness to wake me up in the morning although I was a bit confused with the clocks going back- my fitbit had set to the correct time but I hadn't realized it so thought he was trying to get me up at 5:30. Poor Guinness was busting a gut and getting a bit frantic about the whole thing.
Sunday dawned sunny but the wind was still fierce and not anything you would want to stay out in for any length of time. Or ride in. I was feeling optimist thought so in the morning I dragged the ring (I always do that after a rain) and set up a small obstacle course. The wind didn't start to die down until late afternoon. I tossed around the idea of riding and in the end decided to take her up and play with some ground work instead.
|What did you have in mind? I was thinking treats...|
I started with the walking around the ring and staying with me. She was right with me and not too worried despite the wind blowing. The course wasn't anything special- some poles to walk and trot over, a slalom of cones and two poles for backing through or side passing over.
I led her through the cones using my body language to weave through and she was right with me. There was zero tension in the lead line and I began to think I that I didn't need it all. I asked her trot too and she was bemused but followed along with the air of humouring me.
I stopped and rubbed her head and then I reached over and unsnapped the lunge line. Using my hand I asked her to walk with me and weave through the cones.
And she did.
Carmen definitely knew that she was free, she stopped to sniff the cones:
|what is this? Is it edible? I shall knock it over.|
(I took this after I snapped the line back on)
It was fun playing with moving my body and having her match me. And it felt really really cool.
|I snapped this as we were walking|
I was ready to finish but wanted to try one more thing- I walked her on the right rein over the poles by the 'scary side'. I came around again and unsnapped the line. Keeping my body language the same I walked forward over the poles and, after a brief hesitation and a peek at the trees, she walked beside me.
My inner 12 year old was dancing inside. I don't know if I'm reading too much into this but having her work quietly and calmly with me when she could easily leave felt like a breakthrough. When a horse chooses to stay when they have the freedom to go away seems like a gift.