Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day, Chores and Riding

Had a great Mother's Day! I did chores outside, which is quite rewarding. I weeded the arena (not all, big arena!), fixed some fence, moved some rocks for drainage and cleaned up the barn. Then, I got Gemini out to run in the arena. He tears off with so much gusto and then comes charging back to me. He stops just in time to not plow me down. I know he'll stop so I don't flinch or move. I'm sure to a non-horse person, it would look like madness as he's running towards me at a full gallop. He puts on the breaks beautifully, though. And he gently reaches his nose towards me to say, "So, what's up?". Then, I gave a slight gesture to move him away and he tears off with a fart and a buck. He's fun.

I then trimmed Rain's fronts. Her front legs are crooked so the front hooves are a little strange. They capsule wants to turn in and I'm trying to trim to keep the capsule as straight as possible. I'm not sure how good of a job I'm doing - probably time for some advanced coaching. Otherwise, her frogs look great - all the horses have nice healthy frogs lately and everyone seems to be going along just fine. I'm so pleased! I thought about having someone come and trim a few horses for me since I have 5, but I really enjoy it and I'm not ready to give that chore up. I'm learning a ton about horses, their hooves, their behaviors, how to succeed and get them to partner with me, just great stuff.

I then tacked up Rain and took a nice, long ride with Z as my pony horse. We went about 10 miles, mainly at trot speed. We cantered some, walked a little, and stopped for grass munching in strategic locations. The grass is amazing now - the best it will be in our area for the entire year. Rain now knows our regular munching spots and it works in our favor for keeping her motivated on the trail. She moves out quickly as we approach the next munching spot instead of dragging herself down the trail wishing she was home in the herd.

Z was an energetic pony horse and I had a harder time than normal keeping her in her "spot". I want her ears lined up with my knee and I try to keep her there. It should be her responsibility, but she was so forward today! She's much faster than Rain so when we canter, she shoots off like a rocket and gets ahead. I add commotion to Zone 1 and get her back in her spot but at higher speeds, it's a constant game of reminding her to stay in her spot. I realized today that I'm not setting her up for success. I need to do more practice in the arena or at home, making sure she understands her responsibility. She's such a go horse, she forgets as soon as we turn up the speed.

About 1.5 miles from home, I found a tree with grass all around it, hopped off and laid down. I let the horses graze for a while and stared up at the clouds. I just relaxed, listened to horses munch and tried to enjoy the moment without thinking about anything else. It's a very hard thing to do - turning off my mind to just enjoy the moment I'm in. I'm trying to teach myself to do that occasionally. My mind is always so full and spinning, I'd like to learn to shut if off - even if only for a moment. I had 2 dogs with me for the trail ride and when I laid down under the tree, they laid down right next to me. It was really nice.

It was a fantastic day and I love my animals. Thank you to my husband for allowing me this time. It's very healing.

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