Monday 17 October 2022

Slowing Down

Good morning, Sophie!

Objectively, quite a bit was accomplished this week, but come Saturday morning I was just feeling like I needed a time out. So, off I went to sit in the sunshine and watch some lessons at our local equestrian grounds. I was expecting to feel a bit regretful I didn’t get Sophie home sooner and book a lesson myself with the clinician, but no, mostly I was just relieved to have a few hours with no real responsibilities or pressure. 

The horses have party lights now. That’s fun, right? :)

Aside from doing the horse chores and giving the arena base another quick harrow/level, I was pretty much a couch potato Sunday. Given I hadn’t had a day off since I went away at the beginning of August, I’m giving myself a pass on that.

Levelling and watering ongoing. Lest you think I was lazy all week, look!- all the fence posts are installed and stained and the hedge is planted.

Sophie’s also been practicing slowing down a little this week. The unfortunate side effect of her summer off at the ranch where she had no expectations on her and she could do what she wanted when she wanted - little demands of her focus and slowing her feet and brain down are quite hard for her emotionally right now. She's also become very herd bound to Bridget and generally needs to revisit being content in her own space and not worrying about what's going on around her so much. The weather has been incredible, but it's finally starting to get a bit chilly in the mornings and that's got the girls feeling a bit silly too.

Been tying Bridget here all summer, did not think it through because it took about half a second for S to drag one of those poles out of the rack and scare herself.

So now she has her own special tree :)

We're currently revisiting groundwork and finding reward and relaxation in slowing things down. I hope to start scheduling short rides back in this week. I know there are different schools of thought as to how to manage the busy/distractible pony, but I like the idea of teaching them to find comfort in just being quiet and managing their own emotions. I think for some horses moving their feet and directing the energy works, but for S she’s basically a bottomless pit of energy and has no quit, so it's not my go to. That method only encourages her to act without thinking and she can get herself into quite a mentally checked out type of state once she gets going. It does nothing to teach her patience or confidence. 

I'm excited to get back at it with her, she feels and looks a lot more mature and I think we'll have a fun winter ahead of us.



  1. Her own special tree... hahaha! I think it can be hard for some busy/more emotional horses to only be in a herd of two. Sounds like you have a great plan though.

    1. Sophie has her 'own special' lots of things and sometimes they are nice things. She's not a fan of having her own tree though

  2. I love a slow weekend myself. Sometimes we just need to rest as a way to refuel. It is amazing how much work it can be to attend to the emotional side of a horse, right? BTW, I like your approach in working with Sophie, taking into consideration her individual tendencies. It is helpful to have different techniques in your toolbox and then tailor those techniques/approaches to the situation/horse at hand.

    1. It's incredible to me how much happier Bridget was without Sophie there....and I feel like she's definitely giving that vibe to Sophie, who's feeling pretty insecure and lonely.

  3. You should never feel guilty about taking a day off. Carmen, if she's really wound up, will keep going. I find the best for her is to disengage her hind end and then go back to what I was asking for (slower trot etc).