It was such a gorgeous day today! M and I planned on going for a ride so I made certain to get out of bed early enough. I skipped coffee which I shouldn't have since I later while going home noticed a slight head ache...nothing bad but I should take chances like that!
When I got to the barn Dani was munching away on her feed. I grabbed on of my larger buckets from the trailer and filled it up with her hay so she could munch while getting groomed. We started in the round pen doing some trotting to warm up and then canter. I had her turn many times and she was really good her off side but not on the near side. I would have to back much more quickly and for longer to get her to turn into the center. Even so she was in a good frame of mind and listening pretty well so I didn't need to get any silliness out of her.
I headed to the trailer with her, my stick and a manure fork. All of that in my hand made it hard to move her correctly and she took advantage walking well ahead of me. Note to self, second trip to grab the manure fork won't kill me. I tied her long to the trailer so she could get her hay and headed up to fill a bucket for water. I never have labeled my buckets as food or water and I should. I now have a stainless steel bucket that will be used for washing or veterinary washing (i.e. iodine etc). I held the water up to her and she took a few long swigs. I'm very happy she drinks well, hopefully that will continue in strange places but I figure I can try out the Gatorade method and add that to "strange" water if I ever have an issue. I praised her.
I started currying, then the flick brush and brushed out her mane. I'd applied the Manely Long Hair slicker on Thursday so all of it was absorbed by now but I still felt that there was a bit of residue; the product says there shouldn't be any. The hair was easy to brush through but it felt stiffer than the silky smooth I really want to achieve. Perhaps she just needs a good bath soon. M headed to the grassy arena to grab Scotty and Prince as they were grazing. Prince decided to be a pill and gallop around the arena like a bat out of hell. The little mini was so freaking cute flying around, even though M was a bit ticked she still thought he was a darling. I asked her if she needed help but she did eventually catch him and then borrowed a long line of mine to work him a bit.
With Scotty and the Prince captured she got Scotty ready for our ride. I finished Dani and walked her up to the mounting block. With a last tightening of the cinch I got up on my mare. I'm guessing from the excitement she moved off a without my asking. She's been really good about standing still after mounting and staying quiet. Anyways, M and I head to down the driveway to cross the road and ride around the High School. Dani was bad and didn't want to stop at the road so I had to circle her. Again, I think it's the excitement of another horse. She'll learn that she has to listen to me even when there are other ponies around.
We walked up the path to the sandy area behind the school. It makes for good footing so M and I played around with turns on the forehand, moving over the shoulders, and then some trotting with Dani. I couldn't quite count out the 1, 2, 1, 2 in a fashion that helped with slowing Dani's trot at M's suggestion but if I concentrated on my breathing it did help some. It will just take time but I was happy that my girl had calmed down a bit and wasn't so rearing to go with there being another horse.
We decided to finish the loop around the school. It was uneventful. Even with the barking dogs in a house just off the trail Dani didn't even blink. She was very interested in a bull in the neighboring field so I had her move to the right and then the left....not really a leg yield since we aren't good at those but a diagonal move that got her thinking about something else.
I can tell when she is interested in things outside the ride and perhaps those are the best times to get her back to thinking about me to prevent a spook. She was good though. Nothing seemed to bother her. I rode her some behind Scotty, some in front of him and some right next to him. Aside from a couple times pinning her ears she was perfect. She never tried to bite or kick; expressing her CMS (chestnut mare syndrome) is mostly acceptable within certain boundaries. She still has a pretty forward walk and I find it easier with her ahead of Scotty but she needs to learn to walk behind other horses and match their pace and I don't want to constantly pull on her. I worked with Julie Goodnight's instructions of pulling up rather firmly and when she walks nicely to very fully release the reins dramatically and let her have a really loose rein. This advice is more for jigging which we didn't have much of but seemed to work okay for the couple of times we used it on the ride. Again, like the trot, it will come with time and consistency.
I was pretty tired after my ride, I could feel it in my seat and legs. M and I had a great time though so I look forward to future rides and hopefully some trailering to some trails off site. We said our goodbyes after the horses were groomed and brought back to their pastures. Dani finished her breakfast, took a long drink of water and was back with her pony friends. It was a great day for a ride. Tomorrow I can hopefully get some arena work in with the mare, probably a shorter ride though because unfortunately I have other responsibilities besides miss Daenerys.... :-(
I'm sure you all are wondering what the boot pictures are on this page. Well I have been wanting some boots I can wear elsewhere and not have manure on them. These will be my "anywhere but the barn" boots. I think a girl deserves a pair of those. I have so many "barn" shoes that I'd like to have one pair that doesn't get worn out by mud and muck! I just had them arrive today and I'm already in love! Anyhow, happy riding!