It was a beautiful, sunny, dry, chilly winter day here in the PNW...and I couldn't think of a better way to rein in the New Year than riding my fuzzy girl. I know, I know, I said she'd get a full two month off, but we are only 1.5 weeks away from that date and our barn manager had a very good argument for me to get her going again...two local schooling shows coming up this month! The first one is January 16th, and the test is Intro B. I think we can manage to throw that together fast enough...so long as we get going asap, and that is just what we did today.
I pulled Miss Thing from her paddock. She seemed in a relatively good mood until I pulled out my saddle. I very nicely and gently set it on her back, with my new beautiful Ultra Thinline Trifecta pad (christmas present to myself), and she abruptly decided to freak out, jump up and down in place, and throw a pointless fit in the cross ties resulting in dumping my new-to-me saddle on the concrete aisle way.
At least she stopped and stood in one place. She didn't bolt, try to break her halter, or break the cross ties. A year ago, that is what would have happened. That's an improvement at least. Maybe someone told her that officially she turned four today? I decided that after her little episode she would definitely get longed before I sat on her. The saddle seemed to be scratch and damage free, so I can only hope the tree didn't crack. I quickly saddled her back up, instantly attaching the girth this time. After attaching the first buckle on the second side of the girth I finally breathed.
Tacked up and ready to go we entered the arena. I got her all set up with the longeline and off she went. She walked for about five strides and took off cantering and bucking in circles. "Oh well", I thought to myself "she'll settle down once it's out of her system". I pirouetted in place as she did her best to kick up her heels, mid minor slip after slip in the hogs-fuel. As she got under herself to push off into her hoppity canter stride, I appreciated how much muscle she still had on her bum. Six or so minutes of this passed until she had one really good slip and scared herself just enough to give it up and she slowed to a trot to catch her breath. "Okay" I said to her "no breaks for you, now you have to work more" and I sent her off into a canter for another repetition.
We did a few trot walk transitions and then switched sides. At this point our trainer entered the arena to longe one of her geldings. I haven't longed her much with other horses in the arena, nor have I ridden her while other horses have been longed, so I was not sure how this would go. Regardless, it couldn't be worse what I was just dealing with.
ROSE WAS GOOD!
Tired from her recent escapade, she focused on me, stretched down, blew through her nose and relaxed. After 15 minutes I decided she got "it" out of her system, so I mounted up and got ready to see how rusty she was. Aside from the expected "out of shape" stiffness, she remembered everything from our last lesson/session and picked right up where we left off. I love how smart she is! I had as good a ride as I could possibly have had and I am so excited to get on her again tomorrow. After our ride, I hung out with her in the cross ties for a while. I put some durasole on her feet (she's been ouchie from all the frozed pea gravel in her paddock), and started pulling that very thick mane of hers. She was nice and calm and just a pleasure to be with.
I certainly do love my fuzzy mare, and it's a pleasure to be back in the saddle.
Happy New Year!