Rose's feet seem to be hardening up nicely now that the rain has subsided and her dry lot is once again dry and mud free. I've also been applying my old friend Thrush Off to her soles and frogs once a week to help then harden up quicker. I was using salt and iodine, but it didn't really seem to be working in terms of hardening her soles, but the salt water certainly was working against any thrush she might of had. Her feet were looking pretty good when I checked on her at the barn on Monday evening, so I decided to hop on for a short ride, and also to try a new saddle (more on that later). She felt great and her feet seemed happy. So...I arranged to haul out for an evening lesson with a new trainer SS.
I do feel like I'm cheating on CR, but unfortunately our schedules just don't mesh now that I have JR. CR can only do week day morning lessons and SS is able to do evening lessons, the only hitch is I have to haul a half hour to her place. This is actually a good thing, because I get more experience hauling and Rose gets off the property more often. That and it gives my famous trailer a reason for being.
So, today was the day. Hubs came home Johnny-On-The-Spot at 5 pm with a full tank of gas in the truck for me, and I headed out the door in hopes that 1.5 hours would be enough time to get to the barn, uncover the trailer, hitch the truck, groom Rose, load my tack, and load Rose all on my lonesome, and drive a half hour.
I arrived at SS's barn 20 minutes after my 6:30 pm lesson was supposed to start!
In my mind I had thought I might be a good 15 minutes or more early. Ha! It was alright though. SS also has kids and totally understood. I am just a VERY punctual person and absolutely HATE being late, kid excuse or no. So I was more distraught over it than she was. Next time I'll either push the lesson back to 7 pm or have Hubs come home at 4:30 pm. But hey, those were my two big "firsts". It was the first time I have ever hauled Rose (or any horse) alone, and the first time I've loaded Rose alone. She was a pretty good girl too. All in all, I think it took me ten minutes to get her loaded. Once she was on, she was quiet and well behaved as always.
Once we arrived, Rose walked off the trailer completely calm, stood quiet tied to the trailer like a big girl, let me tack her up, walk her around the new outdoor arena, assess the lack of panthers hanging out in the patio furniture, and up we went for our lesson. She was so laid back that I actually had to put on my spurs for the lesson! And what a lesson it was. SS has an amazing eye for seeing what I'm doing wonky with my body, hand, pinky finger, seat, etc., and she is very skilled at communicating exactly what I should be doing and how to do it. We mostly worked on flexing, stretching down on to the bit, and creating a connection between my inside leg and outside rein and my seat. Oh the bad habits of the preaching hunter seat. I know it sounds like little stuff, but it was a huge a-ha moment for me when Rose started bending and stretching and got light in the bridle. She was balancing herself, and not trying to goat me into doing it for her...like usual. We both learned a lot and have lots to work on. I'm really excited about working with SS on a more regular basis and also how much great experience I will get hauling Rose around.
But now, it's time to take these sore muscles and crawl into bed while JR is still sleeping!
And in big JR world news...he walked for the first time today! I'm so excited. Once he got going he didn't want to stop either. He's already a pro!
Happy trails and swooshing tails!