Monday, October 20, 2014
Cold morning at 29F. I am glad that I had decided to dress Suki and Nikki in heavier clothing last night! Because the temperatures keep fluctuating it is difficult to adapt. But that's what extra layers are for. Between the day off yesterday and the frigid morning I figured that I was in for an active morning in the arena! I grabbed my bag of supplies (bottle of water, extra gloves, baggy with chopped carrots...what's in YOUR bag?!) and walked toward the barn. The welcoming sound of the deep nicker of the girls made me smile as I opened the door. Is there anything better?
I always wonder what the horses are thinking. Yes, of course I know that they do not have the ability to reason, but I do believe that they have emotions. I try not to anthropomorphize but I think we all do a bit of that. Nikki hates having her belly brushed. I use the softest brush possible and often just the buffing mitt. She makes her opinion known by pinning her ears and swishing her tail. Unfortunately this morning she has dirt stuck to her belly and manure. So the grooming must be more aggressive out of necessity. Nikki is not pleased! She is sometimes cranky in the morning. Does she absolutely hate working before breakfast every day? Once we are in the arena she is fine. But the grooming and tacking up part do not appear to be to her liking! Post ride she LOVES to be rubbed down and pampered. Then she happily munches hay in her stall until it is time for her breakfast.
This morning's cold air did not have any effect on her behavior. I take the lunge warm up a bit slower on cold mornings when she has been in her stall all night. In spite of the cold air Nikki works well. My goals for now remain simple. Light off the leg, soft in the hand. Sharp transitions between and within gaits. Mix it up with lateral work and my own patterns using the entire arena. I am currently working on a collection of exercises which I will share. No, I am not an expert, but I have learned what works for my horses and how to keep it fun for all of us. Winter is closing in so my goals must be realistic as it is possible with the potential of having to shut down due to snow and ice. Maybe we will have better luck this year.
Suki was raring to go after an apparently good night's sleep, evidenced by the shavings in her mane and tail!
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I could hear the rain as soon as i opened my eyes this morning. The rain that was not supposed to start until later. Uggh! I want to work the girls today because they will be getting fall vaccs this afternoon. Both suffer a little soreness after that (even with bute) so I always just do a light lunge the next day. It's chilly this morning so if the rain is too heavy I won't take them out. Heavy sheets are necessary because of the temperature so a very wet horse will not work! I dressed to ride hoping for the best. The rain subsides as Isaiah gets on the school bus so I am once again, hopeful.
Just a slight drizzle as I begin to tack up Nikki so I get the job done as quickly as possible. Then it begins to pour. So we wait.
|All dressed up with no place to go|
|Napping on the cross ties|
By the time I brought Suki to the cross ties the rain was heavy once again with no real sign of slowing in the immediate future. So after a good grooming I worked on some stretches with Suki and called it a day.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
I have a report to work on today, so both Suki and Nikki will just get lunged. Judging by the wind that could be pretty exciting!
I didn't see the girls at all yesterday, and honestly, they seemed to have missed me! I know I missed them. It was tempting to stop in and see them on my way home last night but I still had a lot to do there as well. When I opened Nikki's stall door to give her the morning treat she pressed her face into my chest BEFORE she took the piece of apple! I rubbed her ears and spoke softly to her. Of course she started banging on her door as I walked down to Suki's stall! She too, rushed to the door to greet me, looking to my pockets for extra goodies.
In spite of the wind, Nikki worked beautifully through trot and canter poles. She didn't even scoot this time when I ran beside her as she came through the trot poles. Nikki has been a little pushy while being led so I worked on leading exercises after the lunge session. She wanted to step ahead when I first started the halts, but after a couple of reprimands it was all fine. I don't think she likes that work the way Suki does.
The wind was really strong by the time I brought Suki out, but she worked like a champ. Even when Amy left with Bear and walked up the driveway, one sideways glance was all she did but I brought her right back to focus. She floated through the trot poles. First trip through them as canter poles she jumped them, but not with anxiety....just for fun. We finished with 5 minutes of leading exercises and went in.
Both were anxious to have breakfast and get outside. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. The wind added a nip of crisp autumn air. Suki tried to be pushy on the way to her pasture but a quick correction and she was fine. She knows that with me it is important that she waits to be turned around and unclipped before moving off into her field. So after gently taking a treat she quietly turned then galloped away. Nikki looked up as Suki raced past her, then resumed grazing.
It is always important to keep things in perspective. The goals. The path. The journey. The JOY. Take each goal attained and revel in its own glory. Yes, we pursue glory in this sport. Lately my glory comes in baby steps. But after reading Courtney King Dye's book I am once again reminded as she was told by George Morris to savor the glory of the pursuit.