Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas time confidence, cookies and BFFs

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?


Leah Fry said...

I'm a big fan of Lexol products, which is what I use on my saddle, too. Of course, as I write that, I'm thinking of what MY boots look like at the moment. I had them on the floor behind my seat in the truck, which is also where my travel mug gets tossed when it's empty. There are coffee dribbles on my boots in addition to normal barn crud. So thanks for the reminder that in order for any products to work, you actually have to use them.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a great day, and worked through that small fear that he had with finesse!

I find Ariat books pretty tough and also comfortable, although not cheap for sure.

jacksonsgrrl said...

Well, I have a pair of Justin boots that I found used in a military thrift shop, so I have NO IDEA how old they were when I got them, but they were broken in and definitely had been worn. I have now had them 12 years! And since I'm not a Western girl, I wear them only periodically and can count on one hand how many times I have cleaned them. So while they haven't gotten major "barn wear" I think that is pretty good! Good for you on your ride and working on issues, it sounds like you are a very accomplished rider not giving herself much credit at all!
Some day we are gonna go on that ride! :) Count on it!

Unknown said...

Good work with your boy! You're warming up and we have a major snowstorm coming in today.

I wear nothing but Ariats and have since they first came out. A pair of lace up Terrains will last me two or more years with zero care. They are what I put on in the morning and wear all day everyday for riding, working, hiking in exteme rocks etc. Well worth the cost in my experience. Carmon

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm glad you were able to ride and work through a confidance issue, for you and Cibolo. Way to go.