Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Great ride with amazing ending!

The day before my birthday, I had this great ride on Lady, with an amazing ending! A wonderful fall day, about 70 degrees, with a cool breeze. Lady and I went down the trail to the woods, and went further inside the woods than we have yet this year. She seemed calm and I am enjoying our rides more and more. She did everything I asked, without a problem. Very pleased after our ride, I rode back to the car, asked her to stretch out and dismounted. As I was lifting the saddle from her back, I heard the truck coming down the road. Lady heard it too. She stood at attention, her ears forward, eyes on that truck coming down Kelly Road toward us. I threw the saddle and pad quickly into the car trunk, so I could be ready to hold Lady. I was sure the truck would turn in before it got to us, but it went past that driveway and was still coming. It was almost to the stable driveway, and we were standing on the edge of the road! I led Lady onto the grass, just near the front of our car, and turned her, ready for whatever she would do. She stood there, eyes on the truck as it passed within 15 feet of us, but she didn't move. This big grain truck, heading for a field past the stable, passed us and went on. Lady stood there, looking. I suddenly realized how close the big truck seemed, and yet Lady showed no sign of bolting. I still feel the wonder of it, after seven years of being afraid of Lady's fear of trucks--a fear which had become a huge monster within me--and now she stood there as this truck went by. I've told her before not to be afraid of trucks and tractors, that they come by on their way to working in fields. We will get out of their way and they will go on by and we would be safe. Did she really understand? Has she learned to trust me? It may seem like a small thing, but it isn't. It is like a miracle, and I am in awe!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sharing a brave mare's war contribution

Just read a neat article on the Going Gaited online magazine about a special mare who deserves recognition! Sgt. Reckless was a former racehorse, purchased for $250, and she carried ammunition and wounded soldiers in the war, but without being led! Read the story! An oldie but goodie!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

She couldn't have done better!

As I returned to the barn after a short ride on Lady, my husband called out, "how did she do?" I smiled and replied, "She couldn't have done better."
It was one of those rare very special days--early September in the low 70's, a soft breeze, a definite sense of Fall in the air, and Lady in a calm mood. I rode her behind the pasture on the trail a bit further than usual, past the edge of the woods, maybe half a mile from the barn. Then I asked her to go into the woods, and even though she often hesitates and acts nervous when ridden alone, this time she seemed calm enough. We didn't go far, just a circle around some trees, the same circle I've asked of her the last three rides. Next time, I plan to go further on the wooded trail--one more step in our game of learning to go alone together, just Lady and me. I feel our baby steps are paying off in greater confidence for both of us after years of trying to recover from a scary spin when passed by a large truck on the road.
After we came back on the trail, we ventured out onto that same road, not far enough to stretch our comfort zone, but enough to reclaim the easy territory we knew already. We will deal with the road another day. Today it was a longer section of the trail not taken before when alone, and into the woods for a small portion of the wooded trail that is becoming easy. I try to do what is easy several times, until I feel foolish not going further. And as we find that added step becoming easy, then I add something new, or go a bit further.
I see Lady's confidence growing as my own confidence grows. Could it be that one influences the other? A question I ask with a smile, because I know the answer.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sharing an article on Boss Mares!

Anna Blake has written a very interesting article for mare lovers, published Sept. 2 on The Stable Woman's Gazette site. It's titled, "Boss Mare: Women and Honesty," and she gives a new perspective on the Alpha Mare! In essence, such a mare says, "If you aren't going to drive the bus, get out of my way and I'll do it." Take a few minutes and read the article! I'm sure you will love it! It deals with more than mares, expanding to include communication, abuse, and blunt honesty! Here's the link...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Another step in the Journey with Lady

Cindy and I rode again not long ago, and this time we went into the wooded area behind the pasture. Five acres of woods can be a great place to ride when a marked trail curves around to make use of as much of it as possible! But when it hasn't been used for a long time, parts of the trail become blocked with fallen trees or trees that lean over the trail making it impassable. Oh well, we just made our own trail through the brush, even if it did have lots of poison ivy here and there. We finally did find another part of the trail and just for fun, I rode one side of a loop while Cindy rode the other, and then we met at the other end, still inside the woods. Then Cindy had this great idea! We rode outside the woods, and she stayed "outside," and I rode Lady back into the woods alone. Well, I didn't get as far as I wanted before Lady stopped and whinnied. Rocky whinnied back from outside the woods and they called back and forth a few times. I asked Lady to stand for a moment and that was about all she was willing to do. We went back out, rode around for awhile, then we tried it again. Cindy stayed outside on Rocky while I rode back into the woods again. At least we didn't see any turkeys on this ride. But again, Lady wanted to call for Rocky so she wouldn't feel abandoned, and he had to call back for reassurance, I guess. We'll have to try this again. At least Lady didn't do anything terrible, and she learned that she wasn't really alone, just separated.