Saturday 14 July 2012

Day of firsts

I was a bit concerned that both horses would be a little full of it after having the last week or so off work. I was away last week, then was just baking in the heat this week and could barely function. Trainer girl is away as well, off showing her gorgeous horses. So Lainey and Ginger have been hanging out and relaxing in the sun, and in Ginger's case, getting a burnt nose :(

Today was a bit cooler, and with rain forecast for tonight and tomorrow, I figured I'd better get my lazy self out to the barn. Lainey was at her absolute best- I love her in the summer when the heat takes some of her opinions away :) We had a good grooming session and a nice ride in the outdoor. We also met a new friend- one of trainer girls mares had her foal and they were pastured next to the ring. Lainey was in love.

Ginger was up next. She seemed pretty content, so after a quick lunge to ensure that really was the case, I hopped on. It felt so nice to be back riding her again. We did a few circuits at a walk just relaxed on the buckle, but of course when I asked for a trot she got a little tight and anxious. I remembered to just ride forward and she settled and relaxed in a few minutes. So I asked for a canter, and we had a beautiful one- full of energy, but right there waiting for me to ask her to come back as well. So much fun!
Surely that wasn't your first canter on her, you ask? Well...sort of. I've been playing with it but it's been pretty inconsistent and just a few strides here and there. For a while there, she was scaring herself and falling to pieces a few strides in, then taking the rest of the ride to settle again- she was sure every time I touched her I wanted a canter and getting really anxious over it. So, since I am not overly brave, my game was to ask here and there just a few strides and go back to trot before things fell apart.This would be the first time we've had a nice, fun, relaxed canter all the way around the arena (twice, because it was so fun). Of course trainer girl has cantered Ginger plenty in recent weeks so sadly I can't take the credit for what's been a pretty amazing turnaround.
After I stuffed Ginger with peppermints (her favorite!), I thought it might be a good day to show her sweaty self what having a bath is all about. The bath did not go as well as I would have hoped. No drama to speak of, just a big scared pony looking very very sad about the situation. She was actually not too bad until the drain couldn't keep up and water started pooling in front of her. She was sure it was coming to get her! Let's hope next time she is a little braver- I've hosed her legs before as practice, but I'm envisioning some point where I want to hose off a wound or something on her body. And lets face it- baths are part of Domesticated Horse 101. Both of our lives will be a little easier if she can tolerate it without too much stress. I'll try again, but perhaps outside where the water will run off a little better. I took her to eat some grass while she dried off, hoping she'll forgive me for the bath.
Rather than sad, soggy pony, here's a picture of her last summer looking happy:

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