dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, August 23, 2019

A Week in the Life of a Mare Servant

This has been quite the week on the farm. I figured I should pull it together to show the ups and downs of a mare.

Monday was the mondayest of Mondays. It started with a flat tire on my way to work. Fortunately I hear right as I left the driveway so I was able to turn around and switch vehicles. While Ed dealt with the tire drama (the benefits of working from home) I had a busy day at work. After I tacked Carmen up to ride and she was in full dragon mode.

I swear she actually breathed fire
Everything was an argument. And I mean everything. Standing, moving, bending, not bending. As well there was lots of spooking at birds, leaves, air..... I survived and once she sort-of settled I didn't dismount but then worked on some transitions from light aids as opposed to heavy hands and/or kicking. We were both sweaty and tired at the end.

Tuesday I took off from riding so I could do other chores around the farm.

Wednesday I had arranged for an early morning (before work) lesson from Shanea.

And it was amazing.

Julia came out to ride at the same time. When she arrived we decided to go for a hack first and then go in the ring. Carmen led most of the way. She was a bit bemused about going into the ring after the hack but she settled right in.

Through out the whole lesson Carmen was right there listening and trying. Shanea and I were able to get into some of the nitty gritty of keeping her balanced and straight.

smooth and flowing

I told Shanea that we had been struggling with the First Level Test 3 move of leg yield into the middle and then the 10 metre circle. Of course Carmen flowed into it really well. But Shanea was able to point out that I wasn't preparing her for the circle at the end. I needed to start the bend a few strides out.

You can see in the video how tuned in and cooperative she's feeling. I love lessons where we're working on the details rather than keeping her attention. Our canter work was nice too. She was getting a bit tense in the corner but still it's way better than before. Julia finished her ride and left with Irish and, while Carmen noticed, she didn't worry about it too much.


Thursday Cynthia came to ride Irish (they came to NS for their daughter's wedding and a vacation). It was hot and humid. I had a long day of mental work and wasn't feeling the need to really work too hard in the saddle. I told Carmen to not pick any fights because I wasn't in the mood. And she didn't. She did think about being a bit distracted and spooky but it never escalated. Likely because I wasn't putting any real pressure on her and was just toodling around.

Carmen did give on spook when a gust of wind blew Fernando over (I decided on this name from the ABBA song).

he fainted

Carmen came to sudden and rigid halt staring at the bull.
Carmen: OMG what attacked the bull?
Me: The wind blew it over
Carmen: It was the trolls. I KNEW THEY WERE REAL. 
ME: No it was-
Carmen: Who's the foolish one now? Huh? 
Me: look, it just fell over. 
Carmen: I am suspicious. You are never careful enough. And after all I do to keep us safe....

We stood there staring for a bit and then she decided to walk up and give him a sniff. 
Carmen: he dead. 
Me: no, he's just resting

After sniffing him she was fine to carry on around the ring, occasionally keeping a close eye in case Fernando leapt up and charged. We carried on working a bit and then went for a hack. It was a nice way to end the week. 

Friday was also hot and humid and I've decided to not ride. I did some ring maintenance and decided to put the bull away. I carefully put Fernando into the tractor bucket and carried him down to the shed. Carmen and Irish watched us go by and I'm pretty sure that I heard Carmen say I told you he was dead

so very very true


  1. Love the mare/geldings day poster! Very true. I've had two mares and many geldings. The geldings are much easier to deal with.

    Looks like you had some good and bad days with Carmen but we work through it all and come out better riders in the end.

    Glad you liked the name Fernando, I did too.

  2. Poor Fernando! Ha! I'm glad Carmen is getting so sensible (Mondays aside).

  3. blah a flat tire on a monday is such a monday thing to happen! Glad that the rest of the week turned around for you!

  4. Gotta watch out for that shady wind!!! ;)


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