Monday 10 February 2020

A Productive Weekend (At Last!)

Thank you so much for the ideas and commiseration on my recent post. This extraordinarily dark and wet winter has been really affecting me mentally. Even though logically I recognize what's happening and know that I'll feel better if I just get out there and do the thing, emotionally it's difficult some days to push through and get things accomplished.

Because once I just do the thing, I'm so much happier.

Lucky for me, getting out there was a little bit easier this week because the weather gods gave us a break and the never-ending storms finally moved onwards and left drier weather and even a little sunshine behind.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn't the only one super happy to have a break from the rain. The horses were all absolutely wild and feeling pretty high on life.

And so, when I tacked up Bridget for our first ride in 6 weeks, I felt like I was ready for anything. What I was least ready for was what happened - she just marched happily along on a loose rein - a standard, everyday Bridget trail ride. No spooking, no rushing, no antics. Right back to business as if we'd never taken a break. As always, worth her weight in gold and I'm not sure how I ever got so lucky.

The puddles are still numerous and large at the moment
B is looking good, though

Sophie, on the other hand, required just a little more prep ;) Rotten Banana has been back in full force. To watch her you can literally see her pondering bad decisions and lacking the impulse control to curb them. Usually Bridget or I catch her at the pondering stage and a warning nips it in the bud, but she's creative for sure and is often in trouble with either "Aunty" Bridget or I. I need to get video - Bridget just stomps a front foot or sighs in her general direction and S is on her best behaviour for at least the next 30 seconds ;) At this point though, poor B has to be persuaded to go through the gate into Sophie's paddock even just for a short playdate. She's so fed up with her! Just between you and me, there are days when I'm totally on side with Bridget and we leave Sophie alone for a bit and just hang out on our own like adults. Word of advice: if you're considering working with a youngster, having a reliable well trained horse on site is something you'll never, ever regret. Bridget, thank you for keeping me confident and sane  :)

I did pop on for two short rides on Sophie this week, and she was a good girl. A very good girl if we consider how very few times I've ridden her and especially how inconsistent I've been since Christmas!

We trotted a few steps in the ring for the first time, which was a big win. The mare sass was strong regarding that! I'm aware of her attitude for sure, but not super worried...she has a lot of opinions but so far seems to let go of them pretty quickly. She also really likes to hear how wonderful she is when she makes a good choice so that makes my job a lot easier. Stereotypical mare, I guess - She'd prefer that we all bow down and adore her :D I think if you brought a fight to her she'd be pretty interested in winning it, but if you ignore the drama she kind of forgets it was a thing.

Maybe I'm right in my approach, maybe I'm wrong and could push harder, but I guess better to take small, easy wins than risk rushing it or making her sour or getting myself into a situation I can't handle. She's a lot more sensitive and quirky than anything else I've started, so it's an excellent learning opportunity for me. She's more work than I would have willingly signed up for or believe I have the tools to do justice to, but that's horses I guess, the journey is never predictable and there is always so much for us to learn.  The important thing is that I do think she's going to be fantastic and well worth any extra effort.

This saddle pad made her look tiny :D

I look forward to our spring clinic to get a good progress check in and to pick S's brain about all this. A big part of having the confidence to do this is knowing I have so much excellent help available! I'm still not ruling out sending S to a pro for a bit, but for now I still feel like we're right where we need to be.



  1. Phantom and Cisco have the same kind of relationship when I put them in the arena together - she has to keep putting him in his place and it gets old fast!
    Hopefully the weather starts to cooperate for you so that banana can get rid of some sass (without you on her back!). Although I hope she keeps those dapples once she sheds out.

  2. she looks great (Sophie, of course B is always perfect) I am so excited you are still able to hop on Sophie once in a while (and live hahhaah). I look forward to when you are riding her regularly. She is so cute and growing up so fast......and thank goodness you have Bridget. Can you clone her for all her fans ;) THANKS PS even if that pad makes Sophie look tiny your leg is in exactly the right spot so you will fit her very well once she is all done growing ;)

  3. I'm so jealous you have a safe place to work a "young" horse (mine's no longer that). I know you have some of the same circumstances against you. But you're doing it!

  4. They're both so adorable. Despite all the puddles, it still looks like you had a beautiful trail ride with B. We are slowly wasting away in the indoor over here haha