Thursday 16 April 2020

Just Being Ourselves

We've had a slightly different barn life for about a week now. 
After weighing the pros and cons of having the girls living together rather than in separate paddocks, I opted to try them together again last week and I'm glad I did. As I thought, Sophie went from mildly obsessive over Bridget's whereabouts to full on creeper, but since we aren't going too far any day soon, who really cares? 

They're getting along much better than last time. Bridget was treating Sophie a bit like her foal and was spoiling her a bit and it went to Sophie's head big time (remember the summer of smashed fences and temper tantrums?). Now, she's treating her like an adult and is back in charge. It took just a few minutes for Sophie to shape up and be on her best behaviour. 

They've been on pasture about a week now, but Bridget is ballooning so I'll likely give them a weekend off it and put them back out on Monday. Other than that, though, I'm loving it! Apparently all I wanted all this time was a water tap, a flat spot to ride, and a tree to tie to. It's also really nice being so far removed from the rest of the farm right now. Under normal circumstances, I barely see anyone as it is, but now I feel even more quarantine safe.

I've ridden Bridget a couple of times so far in the field adjacent to the one they live in. We don't have a huge area to work with and we're both out of shape, so I've been doing a lot of shapes and schooling in walk, really focusing on being precise in my riding and expectations. Sharp transitions and keeping her straight and between the aids are always something to play with when you've got a backwards thinking wiggleworm. Walk pirouettes, shoulder and haunches in on circles and figure eights being good tests of whether shes staying with me (and I am riding correctly!). Good practice for riding Sophie, too! I hope to avoid some of the struggles I had with Bridget and at least find new and interesting ways to mess it up. I do think Sophie is a lot more forward naturally, but the super bendy wiggle thing is alive and well in her too - let's hope I now have the tools to use that for good and the struggle will be a bit shorter :)

Sophie continues to entertain me. I show up with a halter and she's following me around trying to stick her nose in it while Bridget passive aggressively pretends to not see me. I humored Sophie the other day and gave her a good grooming first before I caught Bridget, but she still has to be very involved and "help" with grooming and tacking Bridget up.

Tied her to this tree this one time to groom her, now she wanders over and parks herself there in hopes of being fussed over.

 I thought once I started longeing and long lining Sophie again she'd be a little more reserved since I might put her to work too, but no, she's just loving the attention and actually seems to prefer hanging out with me than boring old Bridget if we're the only two options she's got, lol. I'm a little sad riding is off the table right now, to be honest, because I think mentally she's really ready to be challenged a bit and put in a bit more of a proper working routine.

Ah well. 

I continue to be amused by how very different they are. They have the same diet, same owner, same paddock, got them at the same age and they're way more different than they are alike. Bridget is Eeyore in Welsh Cob form. (Which is great, because he was always my favorite :) She's very sweet, but all doom and gloom and martyred sighing. She comes out of her shell and enjoys herself every once in a while, but she's definitely a pony you need to know really well before you start to really see her sense of humor and kind heart.

Busy socializing with the tree

Been a while since we had a pic of Bridget doing her yoga

Sophie, on the other hand, is all about needing your approval, needing attention, wanting to be busy, and basically she has zero filters and is a totally open book. What you see is what you get. It might change every few seconds, but there it is! She's also, without a doubt, one of the smartest horses I've ever met. Pretty much everything is fun or could potentially be a game and turned to her benefit. It's honestly a little exhausting some days :)

I probably have more pictures of Sophie in motion than anything. Sassy expressions in most, too. Standing still and relaxing isn't really something that comes naturally to her.



  1. Glad your two mares are settling in to living with each other!

    1. Sophie is on her best behavior now! B is having none of her rudeness.

  2. I was just thinking today about how this sheltering in place is changing the pace of life and I might want to stay that way. Your mares are both wonderful and Sophie is growing into a star.

    1. I feel very lucky. Agree with you, there's a lot in this new lifestyle that is really positive.

  3. Lol to Sophie parking herself at the tree hoping for attention!

    1. She's just ridiculous. Always begging for scratches or grooming and incredibly itchy just in this one place, actually no, over here, ohhh, what about there...and on it goes forever and ever.