|Uh, no, THIS is my sacred duty, mom...|
The time has been there, & I learned (& even mostly followed!) the #1 rule of farm ownership: ALWAYS RIDE FIRST. But there have been so many other energy-sapping things…
With my favourite weather site promising “abundant sunshine,” yesterday I gathered two red geldings & called Amazing Neighbour Vanessa. I may have magically draining soil, but Encore is still healing from his ass tear (yes, if you missed the brief mention, my talented horse actually strained his gluteus muscle) & even with studs, I worried about him slipping in our saturated fields.
In addition, because he cannot have me getting complacent, he has knocked the inside of a front leg AGAIN; we’re keeping an eye (& the magic creme) on that one. I am grateful a thousand times over for Vanessa’s continued generosity with things like all-weather footing.
|Solo's first stud tapping...|
Yesterday, I swept brushes over chestnut backs that were definitely missing some tone, picked mud out of under-used hooves, dripped iodine into soggy frogs (just in case).
Yesterday, I smoothed the velcro on ankle boots, cinched girths on saddles & surcingles, wrestled half-chap zippers over fluffy fleece breeches.
Yesterday, all three of us smiled as we made the brief hack down the fenceline in a bright, swinging walk (although only one of us knew that there was only sandbox torture in store).
Two Horses At The Same Time?
(honk if you get it...)
Vanessa is all about versatility, keeping horses’ minds & bodies fresh & well-rounded, a philosophy that meshes perfectly with my own. Hence the handy highline at one end of the arena, where I could tether one beast while I worked the other. A two-for-one deal: exercise AND great practice at standing tied while your buddy does things at the other end of the arena, which is possibly more fun than the spot under the line.
|Duh, mom, TRAIL BIT!|
Encore responded with tongue-lolling annoyance, because “Mommmm, this is the trail bit, NOT the dressage bit. How am I supposed to work under these conditions??!” Like many abusers, I was asking him to work in the harshness of a Myler Comfort Snaffle instead of a HS Duo.
*insert eyeroll here*
Nonetheless, yesterday, my chunky Thoroughbred softened with each change in bend as we worked 10-m figure-eights. As directed, the focus was “slow is ok, be round across his topline as he heals, we’ll bring forward back later.”
Yesterday, his left lead canter was back to feeling like a canter, instead of a washing machine, & he stayed soft & quiet as he hopped over a 12” cavaletti in a steady rhythm.
|But he can teach you all about vienna reins!|
Yesterday, after trading places, Solo managed to swallow his anxiety about the long lines (this is the horse who took four years to trust longeing enough to do it normally) & not only accept the contact of the outside line, but CANTER on the lines. It may seem tiny, but this is a huge achievement for him, as I trained him primarily in a round pen for that type of work. The lines are new to him & he remains suspicious of long ropes around his legs.
Yesterday, I led home two horses after they stretched out tight backs, worked out bored energy, & rediscovered the spring in their step.
And you know what? I was sore this morning, but I think there was a little something extra in my walk today too.
|Can we head back towards this?|