Yesterday I decided since the sun was making an appearance and the sky was actually blue and not gray it was a good day to start getting the horses in shape. I prefer to ease them back into work with short sessions and then increase gradually. Dusty was the first victim on my to- do list.
She was treated to a thorough grooming and I came out of the session resembling a Yeti. I was covered head to toe in horsehair. Horse Tip 101- Do Not wear chap stick or anything remotely close to fleece! Spring must be around the corner because she was shedding quite a bit.
After I finished spitting hair out of my mouth and trying unsuccessfully to brush my clothing off we headed for the indoor. Getting down there was no easy feat. It’s situated down a hill that hasn’t been plowed. There was a frozen somewhat slippery shell covering the snow but we soldiered on and crunched through. Note to self: don’t forget to plow the road to the indoor.
Once inside we discovered that our newly resident hawk had been very busy with the pigeons. There were at least five piles of feathers so I assume he’s a proficient hunter and isn’t going hungry. Dusty decided a thorough investigation of the feather piles was mandatory. I only wish I had a camera because when she picked her head up her nose was covered in feathers. She’s always wanted her own feather boa but the location was a bit off.
Even though the wind was howling and the temperature was colder than I like – (21 F/-6C) - she followed me around like a puppy while I kicked sand piles back under the walls. We have foxes and cats and who knows what else that likes to hunt for mice under the walls. In order to do this they have to dig out the sand and they make quite a mess. So each time before we ride we have to walk the perimeter and replace the sand. I’m afraid one of the horses will trip in the holes.
I only planned to work with Dusty for about 20 minutes so I put her on the longe and asked for a walk. Which she immediately translated in her mind to mean trot like a maniac. Walk – Trot sounds similar right? We tried this a few times until we got it right. When she was going at a nice pace I asked for the Halt which again translated to Canter at Mach 10 with a couple of impressive bucks thrown in for good measure. Truthfully, I didn’t know she could buck that high. Once I got her under control we walked and halted and switched directions. Not perfect but better than the beginning so we ended with that.
The thing that gets me is she knows her voice commands and what’s expected. I guess the cold and wind and not being ridden for a few weeks made her feel like cutting loose a little. I’m hoping the next time is less eventful.
Until next time
Quote for Today
In training there is always the tendency to proceed too rapidly, go slowly with careful, cautious steps. Make frequent demands; be content with little; be lavish in rewards.
- General Faverot de Kerbrech