I tied all three horses to the hitching post area – they ate quietly while we set up the course. It took us about 45 minutes. I then led the diva into the pen. The order of obstacles was tarp, corridor, pole, log, hula hoop, jump, flag corridor, streamers. Raudi and I then fumbled our way through the first few obstacles, and then got progressively better. I say “both” got better because we are a team. It can’t be any other way when you are doing something like this. I should also add that Pete is a part of this team.
I quit while we were ahead; that is, after Raudi successfully walked over what for her is the most troublesome object, the Pole, leaving her rear feet on the far side, as is required. Pete gave me a much needed directive assist – he who was standing a few feet back, and observing, was able to see what I was doing wrong. I needed to have her whoa right after the rear foot in front of the pole touched the ground. Copious treats for the agility diva, for sure. And I, of course, then called it good, because it’s best to always end on a good note.
Later, after going to town, I got home, and Pete immediately suggested that we go for a ride. Our trails are icy right now – really not safe – we’ll wait a few days before riding them again. No complaint here because we did get to ride them all winter. There is always an alternative, and we soon found out what that alternative was. We saddled Raudi and Tinni, and with Hrimmi at Tinni at Pete’s side, we headed down to the Murphy Road turnoff; right now the road is ice – free and fairly soft.
Raudi was perky. Her ears were forward, and she quite clearly wanted to get out. I got off once, to readjust the saddle. Pete held her while I did this. She stood still. This is a horse who has figured out when she can lollygag and when she cannot. I remounted, and our ride continued. I trotted on the way down to the turn. Then I suggested that we do the same on the trip home. Raudi didn’t miss a beat – she moved out in a very controllable and snappy fashion. I had not asked for any speed since last fall, so we’d both gotten out of the habit of cantering. Nevertheless, I asked her to move when we were at the base of the hill. She took off, moving in a controlled and deceptively slow fashion. She had no intention of moving any faster than I asked.
Needless to say, I was pleased with how she did. She was attentive and polite the entire time, even when Tinni came racing up beside her.
Ten years – it’s taken me this long to get the horse of my dreams. A dependable trail mount did not drop out of the sky, into my lap. Rather, she came to me as an untrained yearling. Everything that we’ve figured out, we’ve figured out together. This makes our partnership even that much more special.
Tomorrow I’m going to an all-day yoga workshop in which the focus will be on the psoas muscle group. This is something that I want to learn more about. Lucky me – I’m going to pay for this workshop with compost.
Next: 81. 3/29/15: A Day’s Plans