I made it out to the barn today. I was dressed for yesterday's weather, and was soon stripping off layers like a bad vaudeville show.
As a result a day I thought I'd just come out and groom my horse turned into a day to ride.
Cibolo and I headed out to the round pen to see where we were. We were okay and I decided on a quick trail ride. Remembering the new five minute rule, I spent that amount of time getting exact maneuvers with the lightest possible ask. Nothing was perfect, but we got consistent at the end.
To be honest, I'm not sure what soft is, but I did get to the point where I could turn Cibolo with a light leg and rein and stop with my seat only. We headed out to the trail. There was one point where Cibolo was uncomfortable going forward through a narrow section of trees. Normally I'd just push him through, but I decided to try something different. He was trying to turn to the left instead of going forward, I turned him right and up the hill.
I know that motion solves a lot of things within horses. Standing still can be very anxiety provoking, and I've found that moving - albiet in a direction of my choosing - lifts some of the anxiety. Then we come back to the scary area, approaching from a different direction.
He was still worried, but much more willing.
And I felt more confident. Frankly I think it's the Christmas spirit. I'm a major Christmas geek. I LOVE the holidays, even as crazy as it gets. Don't care. Love the busyness, the jillion things to do, cooking all day to christmas carols.
It makes me feel like all things are possible.
We ended very quickly (I guess we only rode for 20 minutes), but it was all good, very positive.
I put Cibolo in with his BFF, Amigo. Given how much grief horses can give each other, I'm always interested in seeing how well they get along with their BFF.
Here's Amigo, getting that last bit of grain that's always in the back.
They can eat from the same pan, nibble hay next to each other. The barn has limited stalls, so in the cold weather they are actually in there together (it's a pole run and open to the little alley way).
Lily, on the other hand, has what I call the greeting stall. It's the one I park in front of so I see her right away. She was definitely wondering if there were any cookies left.
Yep. They were handed out with those gloves. She checked them over diligently, but it was two per customer today.
And here is my biggest problem.
I'm terrible with boots. I don't keep them oiled, don't shine 'em, and now, they are cracking.
So I guess I need a different kind of boot, one that puts up with bad treatment without coming apart at the ... well, there are no seams there. Either that, or I need duct tape.
Maybe for Christmas I'll get a pair of fancy boots that I will shine up regularly. But in the meantime, any suggestions for something a little tougher?