Sunday 15 September 2019

A Perfect Storm

My husband came to the barn with me the other night, so it seemed like an opportunity to get some things acomplished wirh a spotter. I planned to head down to the arena and maybe sit on Sophie for the first time if everything went well.

Wouldn't you know it, I got Sophie tacked up and the grey, drizzly day instantly turned into a monsoon. No biggie, we are West Coasters, we love rain, right?

Except then the flashes of lighting started. A quick decision was made to retreat into the barn that's directly adjacent to the hitching rail we use for grooming and tacking up.

Where I normally tack up, barn is behind where I'm standing. Her paddock is quite a ways down the hill.
Different angle, the Unstable in the background.

The barn hasn't been used for horses in a while and is mostly storage at this point. I wasn't crazy about leaving Sophie tacked up and tied out in the storm (or untacking and getting her back to her paddock), so Sophie came with us and we all kind of crammed into the aisleway.

And we waited, and waited.

Winter has come. The street lights on our road didn't turn off all day, it was so dark and gloomy.

One of the stalls down the far end of the barn just had a couple of wheelbarrows and some fencing supplies inside, so we moved those out and Sophie in, and I hung up a hay bag for her. She was a bit sad to be alone, but it was still monsooning and thundering and lightning out and I didn't want to walk her down to her field. Bridget's shelter and  paddock is conveniently right off the back of the old barn so it made sense to open the door and bring her in to share dinner with S.

She styled her hair special for the ocassion, I see. No idea where she keeps finding burrs, but they're always attached to her face so I assume she likes them?

So that's how I ended up with a tacked up Sophie in an old stall, and a Bridget tied in the aisleway, sharing the same hay bag.

What to do to kill time while we wait for the storm to pass?

You know where this is going!

Yep, played with the saddle, leaning on her, then finally just comitted and hopped off and on my pony a few times. Eventually I just stayed and sat on her and scratched her for a bit. Got off, repeated it all again.  She thought I was a bit nuts, but I've been jumping all over and around her for a while now so she didn't seem too surprised by this turn of events.

Husband G was a little surprised by how informal and unofficial the whole thing was  ("you're seriously going to use her feed bucket to stand on?"*turns around, turns back* "how did you get on?!") But honestly, this is life, we need to roll with it. I've been waiting for a few weeks now for the stars to align and to have everything perfect, but it's not happening, so let's just make the best of things and move forward.

I know quite a few of the European and racehorse trainers back their horses in the stall, but I always thought that seemed a little claustrophobic. The old barn here has a really high roof, but it's still just a 12x12 stall at the end of the day!

But you know what, I think this was one of the situations where things just turned out the way they were supposed to be. I can't imagine a less exciting or anticlimactic way to sit on S for the first time...just hanging out with her bestie, eating dinner. Ho hum, so boring. Just the way we wanted it to be :)

So ends the tale of my first "ride"...and yes, I have NO pictures, because sometimes you just have to live in the moment. Next time though, I promise.

Sophie in her winter paddock this morning. Not fancy, but I'm hoping we can make it work this winter and the weather allows for more field turnout here than last. This place is SO close to the main equestrian grounds and indoor arena that I can hopefully keep her lightly going all winter. My other option is the beautiful farm 20 minutes away that I boarded her at last winter, but it is $$$$ full board and there is no arena or place to ride except trails accessed by quite a few km of busy road. Not as ideal for baby horse training.



  1. What a great way to back her. Well done!

    1. It felt quite claustrophobic for me but she seemed really content!

  2. Replies
    1. I was strangely calm during, then ridiculously excited the rest of the day!

  3. take advantage of whatever you can do :) LOL Congrats!

  4. Replies
    1. Such a non event...I feel like next time will be a lot more interesting, the casual acceptance seems out of character for her, LOL

  5. Dante was backed in a stall with a jockey no less (they break and train racehorses there too) It was pretty funny to watch a jockey ride him that first time I came to watch

  6. ha i love it - adapt, evolve, overcome, right??? congrats on the first big sit!! :D