My plan was to quickly park the truck and then take her out of the way. I figured we could practice our ground work in a new setting. But when I got back to the barn Nancy was there so we decided to quickly tack up and get going. Carmen was hilarious.
Carmen: no, I can't go yet. Look they are just bringing the hay. Go have coffee or something.
I was mean and took her out anyway. We did a bit in hand and then she lined up at the rock wall so I could get on. As soon as I sat in the saddle she was raring to go.
C'mon. Let's get this show on the road!
I had her wait for Nancy and Beau and then we headed out.
These rides are so good for our confidence level. Carmen clearly had tons of energy and I gave her the rein and let her go. I let her look at things and praised her when she passed scary things.
|how we spent 95% of the ride.|
Up until now we've been following Beau, but shortly into the ride she passed him on a hill and kept going.
Me: I guess we're leading now
This was so exciting because it's been one of my goals for Carmen. I even had been working on a plan. This plan did not include that she would decide to do it.
I spent the whole ride letting her make choices. Sometimes she lead. Other times something seemed too scary and we let Beau go first. This was particularly true when we went through the section where we had encountered the grouse before.
We passed (and were passed) by gators, cars and other machinery at parts.
She could have cared less. The first time she had one ear on me and one on the gator. I just left the rein long and stayed relaxed.
In one section a squirrel ran up a tree. She leaped sideways and then went back to riding (although she did send it a dirty look).
She also stopped at the top of a hill to look through the forest. I let her look and determine that there were no bears, wolves or grouse and then walk on.
When we got back to the barn we were greeted by the donkey. He's gelded but thinks he's still got it. I also think that Carmen is in heat because he was quite interested in her (unlike before).
|Hey girl, did it hurt when you fell from heaven?|
Donkey: 'Can you take me to vet? 'Cause I broke my leg falling for you'
Donkey is your name google? Because you are what I'm looking for
I put Carmen in the stall which had some hay in it, much to her delight. As she hoed into it the donkey put his head up. Hey, is that salad for two?
Carmen: um, Mom, what is he doing?
|I don't think I want to date a donkey. Or anyone, really.|
I brought the truck around and when I opened the back he looked like he wanted to hop in.
When I brought Carmen out she hopped right on and we hit the road.
I love that we are doing so many fun things this year. And I love the confidence we are gaining in each other. Even when she jumped I was able to immediately let the rein go and carry on.