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January 10, 2012: Varying the Routine

Okay, so I tried flipping my schedule around, and first work with the horses, and then do my writing. This didn’t work out very well because I get my best work done early in the day. Later, I tend to over-edit. So I just slipped back (without hardly even thinking about it) into writing early, and riding later.

Today was an exception to the rule. I went to town and had breakfast with friends, and then when I got back, I began working with the horses. I’ve often suspected that my neighbors, who see me go around our 1.1 mile loop, day in, day out, riding one, two, three, four horses in one day, think that I’m deranged. It must look as boring as hell.

Raudi being desensitized
Raudi being desensitized

The truth be known, what I’m doing is very engrossing. There are, like today, days in which I have to dig down deep in order to get the show on the road. It was a bit warmer than it’s been; and that was a motivator. However, like most things, getting going is the hard part. It requires discipline. The bottom line is that the horses need exercise. And so do I.

All four are at various stages in their schooling, today being a good example. I first took Siggi out, and ponied Signy. Siggi and I worked on his being supple—doing S turns, stopping, moving into corners. I’m using my hips to get him to bend, this is new for him. Today Signy was just along for the ride. Had I had more time, I would have ridden her, and worked on her maintaining her trot. She’s learning this, and also now to move from side to side. The problems with her having stuck chi are diminishing.

I next took Tinni out. I focused on stopping, moving forward, moving into turns, and backing, all with the intention of getting him to tolt. Today wasn’t a good tolt day. But I’m pleased because his energy level is now back to where it used to be. I’m also pleased because he’s doing things that I previously thought that, because of his age, he could not do. We are continuing to learn from each other. I always ride him bareback.

And lastly, I took Raudi out. In relation to the above, our ride was most telling. A quarter of a mile out, and we came to a plastic bag. She jumped around a bit, and I urged her to move forward, which she did. We continued on, and she suddenly came to a stop. Seconds later, a neighbor and his son, on a plastic sled, shot out of his driveway, into the road. I later realized that Raudi heard the sled, and this was why she halted. I was quite happy about this, because it shows that she’s developing what is a trait of her breed, common sense.

At the conclusion of our ride, we again encountered said neighbor and child. I dismounted and walked alongside the pair. The three-year old was bouncing along on the bright orange sled. Our accompanying them, on foot, was good for Raudi, who otherwise, might be bothered by such things. I concluded our lesson, by having her stand with her reins dropped on the ground. This is something we’ve been working on. She’s finally getting it.

I once before wrote about having just two young horses, and only being able to do ground training. I was happy then. But I’m happier now. Having four to ride—each with their own unique personalities, and each with their own training related needs—is for me like a dream come true. The teacher in me lives for their and my ahh haa moments.

Next: 36. 1/11/12: Greener Pastures