As Tammy from HORSETRAILRIDERS says, When the weather is nice enough in any given day -right now- "We steal it back from winter" to go riding!
Above is sunset, after my ride that I stole back from the winter, just yesterday!
Wa mare was out today, on the stable's every other day rotation and had rolled in the mud. It made her fresh, clean, blue blanket- look allot like a brown one.
I did not wear my mud boots to fetch her...and go figure, she stared at me from way back in the field! I laughed it up heartily saying, "Are YOU going to make me go put those boots on? REALLY!!
Well, I bit the carrot I was holding, trying to temp her to the muddy gate area...
Theo, who was laying at her feet in a resting moment, decided to rise and come forth for the tempting crunching item I had waiting.
I suppose, Wa had a sense of duty, watching over Theo... ha ha!
Now with Theo half way to me, back at the muddy gate...Wa mare decided..ooou...I think that KK girl may take him out and leave me here..."she's been known to spend time with other horses". She ran right past him and to me.
In the stall I brushed the blanket off, while it was still on her, with a good stiff bristle brush creating quite a dust storm. My mare enjoyed her "Ritual Grooming munch". This is something we've done since I got her 5 years ago, Thanksgivingtime! She dislikes the grooming habits..so I allow her to CHEW on some hay. This takes her mind off me and the brushes. I've really grown to love the time of chewing for her, it soothes me as well.
After our time in the stall and then tacking up in the Isle, I wrote my note in the tack room to where we headed and time we set out and wewere off -to the property out back. I decided to apply her hoof boots on the fronts and really see how she traveled while trotting, and maybe cantering today. The rocked roads and her softer hooves for being on wet and sometimes muddy grounds, call for the boots to really relax and ride.
I choose all the straight paths, with those lightly rocked bases as she is NOT nimble footed, slick ground on side trails makes for -totally clumsy and slick adventures, with hoof boots on!
I had also decided to refine her connection. last time we went out, she went-right-through the bitless, and avoided my aides. So today, I used my "waterford" bit.
I like it because she can't really grab it, and it does not poke her mouth, it is made from all large, round links. She was good about taking it, leaning her head into me, as she does...maybe there could be a treat involved
(yup, there was!)
We have been bitless now for months, so I was happy that she accepted it, easily so, today.
We also have not ridden for the better part of the Holiday week, so I was not sure what her mind would be like.
No wind, but pretty cold, so she also got her quarter sheet.
I used a nice large stump, outside the property's gate, to mount..she stood patiently.
When I hurl upon her, should the chosen mounting object be shorter than I need to just put my leg over and on- she fusses sometimes. With her settled stance, I deemed,
it will be a good day for a nice ride!
My goals, were to have her light in my hands and for her to respond off my leg for forward and length of neck. She was there, BUT-she thought she'd tell me off at first...so we stopped and we stood...and stood...she looked back at me...we stood.
I then crunched my abs tight and rolled slightly back upon my buttock, squeezed my hands...she backed- ( I murmured under my breath till she got rhythm-"one-two-three-four-....")...then stand...square up.
She sighed a deep one out for me to hear...walk on, Nice Wa mare!
This routine, is working for now. (halt, wait, back straightly, halt, square up, wait till breath...forward)
Normally when I change a training technique, or add something new, it does work for a time, then she's onto it and I need to change again. I think that I will NOT use this again next time..and beat her thought process of "this again". I will use the "circling technique", which depending on the place you need to use it, can be difficult on the trails. But, normally at the half halt before
she feels me start to turn my torso slightly and the outside rein touches her neck...she settles in the arena, not wanting to circle!
Today, she was doing very well, not fussing with her bitted self, or me.
We did many transitions from walk to trot...trot to walk and to halt...mixing it all up. focusing upon her remaining-lightly in my hands, round and forward- instead of excited and inverted at my asking her to transition up or down.
It took some time, and it will take some time each time. She is so excited to move and even with being alone...is slightly excitable.
Having enough school,and the right answers to my questions, we went on down the fence- line- lane-.
It is a treat with it;s soft grounds and things to see on one side.
AND SEE MANY LLAMAS and one horse in a particular field we did!
NOW, we have no experience with llamas...so, I was very interested how it would play out. Being that there was the token horse in the field, this was to our advantage! I mean,l they are going to devour it before her, it being so available and a fence away from us!
Yes...she took that horse into consideration...eyeballing it very hard, seeing if it would tear out and away from them or whinny out, "RUN-YOU!"
Nope. It came to say hello and walked off. That left us with the Llamas!
The mare, she began to get a bit puffed up, she grew a few inches. I had to act now. Of course I was talking and laughing a bit too. Which always helps with breathing...breathing is very important.
I walked her on and away, as the suspect animals approached. She remained with me. I turned her back to look. She remained with me. We just stood there, took it in, then we moved on.
I wanted to do one more loop around the open roads, then head on home...it was kinda cold and I figured that was enough challenges for one day.
We went up the long hill with killer stumps to the right, and some questionable noises coming from the top of the hill, further right. It became another training mode-road.
She made it alive(mee too) and we began the last road home...
OH! What is this??
The tree farmer had begun to cut and bale and -STACK-trees on both sides of the road we travelled. Leg eating and potentially-HORSE EATING (dead) trees!
Another training section of the ride became available....(teehehe)
I took her as far as she would go before she hesitated, and turned her away to the right, and down a different road. Then back towards the suspect lumps of tightly bound fir bows. I again asked her to deter herself- JUST before she had her eyes pop out. We did this and also circles near the -ready-to-pounce-on horses- greens.
I liked that she would turn her back on them, like the llamas, and settle, till she faced them again. We did so many circles, only 5 feet away, by the time I asked her to trot away (which she really did not want to trot away from home) she willingly trotted nicely- THROUGH- the center of the hurrendous bound bows, and onward and forward home!
Not a blink.
Home again, she just stood quietly, with many yawns.