Sunday, March 4, 2012

Wild Baby and Big Milestone

I always joke about crazy baby on the lunge line. On cold mornings sweet baby Nikki will be quietly trotting along on the lunge when she suddenly hears a noise (not necessarily a loud one) and leaps up and does a few bucks. She may do that two or three times, then is fine. Typically she is not spooky, but the cold weather seems to make her a bit more sensitive initially. On those mornings I will work her on the lunge for 10-15 minutes. For some reason, this morning, Nikki would not settle. She would seem fine then something would set her off again. I continued to work her doing many transitions as focusing exercises. This went on for 45 minutes! Just as she seemed to be relaxed and listening BOOM! Another outbust! At one point I heard a constant banging and kept thinking "WHAT IS THAT NOISE!!" But at least Nikki wasn't spooking at it....then i realized it was my head pounding! I was really getting frustrated, and FINALLY she seemed to be finished with the outbursts. Admittedly I was a bit hesitant to ride, but I knew that I needed to mount and do some work, so that we ended on a positive note, and with me riding her. So I got on walked her around a bit then did some walk/trot transitions. She was relaxed and listening. It was a short ride, but Nikki worked well, and we needed to finish on a calm, positive note! I really don't know what was different today. I do have a feeling that she did not get turned out yesterday, because when she was turned out today there was bucking, squealing, extended trot and passage! She had yesterday off, but a day off does not usually make her crazy. Perhaps the nearly 5 year old brain just needed to let off some steam. Tomorrow will be better....and she did redeem herself, so all is forgiven, of course! Every day cannot be perfect! I remembered to grab Nikki's bridle today before I left Valley Mist earlier today. Not an easy task after my adventure with Nikki, followed by Isaiah's riding lesson. A classmate of Isaiah's was starting lessons today, so we got caught up in that as well! Isaiah had a wonderful lesson. So far he is committed to listening and trying to improve his skills. He also has has a new goal.....he wants to win a blue ribbon this summer in a horse show....... Because today was a bit colder and more windy than I had anticipated, so I decided not to lunge Suki today. Add to that horses running around a bit in the field and I figured I would wait until tomorrow for that. I did, however, go forward with my plan to attempt to put on the bridle. With a little bit of trepidation I walked into Suki's stall with the bridle. I decided to do it in the stall because I didn't want her to fly back or raise her head minimizing my control. With my left hand I held the bottom of her halter and slipped the reins over Suki's head. So far, so good.... I removed the halter, placed my hand over her nose and eased the bit into her mouth. Slowly I raised the bridle and slipped it over Suki's now shorter ears. Just like old times, no fuss, and the bridle was on. I cried like a baby. I never thought this day would come. It is a major step toward our spring plan of long lining in a bridle and surcingle. A long time coming and a dream come true!

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