The first weekend is the ride to Conception. It's a ride I have a little trepidation about, since last year was such a wreck on Cibolo and now I'm going with a horse I've ridden for all of two months.
But this time I'll be riding with Sierra and we can stay at our own pace the whole time. Hopefully that will be enough to keep Smokey feeling good. He's been so calm in other situations...
I'm the one with Clydesdales in my stomach.
Then, two weeks later, I'm heading to Santa Fe for the Mark Rashid clinic. Three days of one on one with Mark Rashid? I may pass out in anticipation.
It's a tough time for our business, the economy isn't doing any of us any favors. So this all feels ridiculously indulgent - going through with decisions (and deposits, in the case of the clinic) that were made nearly a year ago. But still, I'm going. At this point it's gas and food. We've got a free place to stay (thanks Dad!). I'd be eating if I stayed home, right?
And I know that leaving a few problems behind while I ride my wonderful horse is probably the best stress reliever of all... I can certainly use it.
We rode a few times this weekend and I'm always struck by how little warm up Smokey needs. I tried ponying a rather stubborn Cody on him, which was a mess, but not as bad as I'd have thought. Smokey tries so hard to figure out what I want him to do. He knew Cody was being stubborn about moving away from the gate that as I tried to turn him the second time, Smokey went to bite Cody on the bun.
Yeah. Thanks, but no thanks, Smokey.
Then we played cow sorting to keep Cody on task. Cody thought it was lawn grazing time and kept trying to turn to the left. We had a newbie on him and she didn't have the experience to keep him straight. So we kept cutting him off. Actually Smokey really got into the herding Cody thing.
Hmmm. What if it was a little cow? Hmmm.
I rode Cody later and had a heck of a time getting him to listen. Getting away with too much with little ones maybe? He wouldn't turn to the left. And I don't mean a hairpin turn. I mean "let's go to the trail" and he says "no, I'll go the right" and I say "No, you won't" and we go from asking to demanding really quick.
By the end he was turning at the ask and we ended on a very good note. But it was pretty ... hard getting there.
Lily is also doing well, although she was limping three days ago and sent me into a panic. Fortunately I haven't seen her limp since Steph buted her that day and I didn't feel any heat or see any swelling on her legs. So we are keeping our fingers crossed. We'll do a long trail ride this weekend to make sure she's up for the big ride at Conception. The Conception ride is all at a walk, and I have some medicine to help her that she can take before the ride, but I want to make sure she's fine. The shot shouldn't have worn off yet, hopefully it was just one of those days...