It's been a while since my daughter wanted to ride with me. The last ride she went on had some scary moments for her and it's taken her months to want to ride again. I was so glad when I asked today and she said, finally, "YES". Of course, my mind immediately looks to the sky to see how far the sun has gotten and how much time is left. I have hooves to trim, blizzard manure clean-up to manage, and need some time practicing freestyle riding with my mare.
I stopped myself and Kendall and I walked to the barn together. It was a very nice, warm day and the horses were laying down. Kendall walked up to Cowboy and Nina, who were laying next to each other and she spent a moment with them. Oh, I so wish I had my camera handy! She was having a nice Cowboy bonding moment and asked to ride him. He's too bracey for a child at this point so she asked if I would ride him. I wanted to, but time was short and I felt I could actually accomplish something with Z in a short period vs the time I'd want to spend prepping Cowboy.
We tacked up Rain and Z, Kendall even went to the trailer to fetch the saddle she uses, and we headed down the driveway. We stopped at a jump and she wanted to jump Rain a few times. We hung out and practiced jumping a bit, but Rain needs motivation and Kendall doesn't have the patience to motivate Rain. We played with the idea a bit and she got a couple hops over the jump and she was ready to move on. We left our property and headed out.
Pretty quickly, her ears were cold! :-) The sun was getting low and the air cools off dramatically in Colorado when the sun goes down. She was pretty sure she had frostbite on her ears (it was about 50 degrees), so we headed back. Z has such a fast walk and Rain just couldn't keep up! Z has some amazing skills - like that fast walk! When we turned to go home, Kendall asked if I'd pony her. I was happy to do it, but she immediately said, "No, I'm ok". I know she's dealing with some fear and I want to support her by giving her opportunities to grow while supporting her whenever she needs it. I hope I'm striking a balance - it's hard to know for sure.
When we got back, she wanted to close the trailer door from Rain's back! Wow - I love to see her thinking of getting things done while mounted! The sun was nearly down, so I told her we'd try that later. I spent just a few mins working with Z on isolating the ends and backing up 1 step, alternating with each step. So, we'd move the fore 1 step, then back up 1 step, then the fore, then back... This is all bridleless and helps us both understand what the seat is saying. I have to be consistent with the my body language and she has to be consistent about listening. She got annoyed with me once or twice and I tried to get quieter and softer and give her time. I was in a hurry and we were out of time. Dag gone it!!
But everyone away and hoping to get more time tomorrow. Need to play with Nina!