Saturday, April 1, 2017

Circumstances has been such that Khaleesi has had more rest and down time than she probably needed. 

Or maybe if you look at life a certain way- what you get is always exactly what you need. 

How do you know? Because it’s what is and it can be nothing but that. 

The biggest issue lately has been some extra work that has pulled me out of town almost a week straight leaving a small window of time here and there that I’ve put into some needs Wild Heart has right now followed by a couple of rainy and stormy days that were plainly better spent on other tasks at hand than forcing a soggy ride. 

If you’re curious what work I’d be talking about, here’s a link to the concert Tuesday night:

Brahms concerto and Mozart Requiem

With a tough 55 mile ride in 3 weeks now is the time to get more serious about some fitness and miles so she can have some rest going in as well. 

Saturday I once again choose my favorite mare from the pasture and we walked together to the barn. Khaleesi seemed happy and a bit full of herself that she was not forgotten any longer and once again the chosen one. I always love how she walks confidently exactly at my side, ears forward and eyes soft. My horse. My partner. My friend. 

She ate while I used my new grooming gloves (love them!! Thanks Sarah for the thoughtful gift!) to clean out the dirt clumps and shed some layers of winter hair. 

I saddled her and decided to ride again just in her halter. I love the trust and connection we have been building with passing on the bit recently. 

It was a great ride where we did a lot of climbing. Considering she’s struggled with impact damage, mountain climbing is a great way to build fitness and strength without a lot of trotting which adds to cumulative impact which we are working on healing for the time being. 

We took an unusual route that I’ve done in years past on Faygo that includes a section of uncut laurel to navigate when one trail ends to get back to familiar roads. 

The best part of the ride was how how willingly Khaleesi dove into the thick laurel and I held on as she navigated best she could and I kept the branches from scraping my face as much as possible. I was able to steer her with barely a touch of my legs as we had no trail to work with. 

We were a true team sorting out the best path to take. She was ready and willing to take my suggestions and I trusted her to navigate footing the best she could. We didn’t argue once through the brush and came through perfectly to more open woods and a pretty creek that I knew would take us to the home trail. She was fantastic in her halter – even better than with a bit for the most part. 

By the time we were close to home we had begun that connected riding where what I thought she did. At the moment I thought ‘we can move out through this section…’ she immediately picked up either a trot or a canter depending on if I decided on 2 beats or 3 in my mind.

When I wanted a walk I fixed my mind on the downward transition and she changed to a walk seamlessly as if we agreed without words or cues. It was a nice feeling together.

As Buck would encourage – I almost rubbed the fur off her in spots I could easily reach on her withers and neck – but gently and tenderly and with as little energy behind it as possible. 

We did some good climbing, but more importantly we reconnected and shared a special time – just the two of us (well, of course the dogs!) and put positive digits into the relationship equation. 

One of my favorite views… dogs between the horse’s ears

Peggy Sue spends much of the ride next to us on the trail. She’s a great dog!!

When we returned home she was relaxed and content. I gave her a snack of senior feed while I pulled the saddle off and gave her a good rub.

We walked back to the field just as we came out, confident, soft, calm, and connected. 

I couldn’t have been happier. 

Published by JaimeHope

Violin teacher and endurance rider living in a rural mountain county - one of the least population dense and without a single stoplight.

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