After a very long day, I came home and realized I had about 1.5 hours left of daylight. So, being that is was in the fifties, I opted to pull on a pair of light, breeches I hadn't worn in a very long time, put on a zippered sweatshirt, and take Morgan to the barn to see the horses. My thoughts about when we got there were basically that I wanted to play with the horses and potentially ride (depending on the footing and what my horses revealed once we started to play). The geese were flying over in flocks migrating back to the north, the air was crisp, the wind was non-existent. A beautiful night.
So, let's start with the breeches. Much to my delight, they are loose! Looser than I can ever recall actually, noticeably baggy. YIPPIE!!! All of the work I've been doing on myself is paying off (and it gets better, keep reading).
Fosse and I have not had any real play time lately and I decided that if I only had so much time out there, he was first. He is my beloved gelding, my true horsey love (we are wuite the same in horsenality-type -LBEs!) and I truly enjoy all of the time we have together. His heart murmur causes limitations to what we can do but, that does not mean we don't have a great time! We started on the ground, as usual. He had a halter and the 12 foot line on. My 22 foot line is in the horse trailer and unfortunately I brought the wrong keys to the barn and I was too lazy to walk back to the house for the other keys. So, we played with the logs as obstacles and I asked for very particular things like one foot at a time (forwards and backwards), weaving in and out of logs and over them (a bit hard to explain but, one of the large trees has several large branches making for a fun puzzle). We also tried close-range sideways without a fence, not something I've done really with him (the without a fence part). Anyhow, once he understood not to go forward, he got it and did a fabulous job. I almost thought I'd try to get a piaffe but I thought better of it (for this session anyway-hehe). Fosse was so responsive and seemed to be having fun (I know I was). We eventually made our way to this massive log where we played circling a bit (even around Lola and Whiskey who were consistently in the way...or perhaps they were just playing their parts as obstacles). Everything jelled so well that I decided to ask permission to mount and mounted, bareback from the log. We rode around the muddy paddock, freestyle-one reined for quite awhile. I practiced flipping the rein from each side, ride the rail, riding through the tree obstacles, etc. One major thing I noted immediately is that I felt better and more in harmony with him than in the past summer. I truly believe that all of the work I've been doing on my own fitness has made a huge impact. Not only are my breeches baggier, but my connection with my horse more secure and much more in harmony. I felt better than I have in a long time on my horse, something that truly surprised and delighted me. YEAH!
I played with Lola for a little bit on the ground and then worked on laying on her rather than just mounting. She was a bit fidgety and I wanted to allow her time to process it all. At one point, I was working on having her move sideways towards me (I was on the big log) and she got a bit out of line (as in lining up, not that she was a bad girl or anything) and started trying to walk over the huge log...she was confused. I immediately asked her to back up, turn her body and try again. She did, and did well, lining up perfectly. She is very willing when she knows what you want. I laid over her several times but did get the sense that she was not quite confident enough for me to ride her today (which is fine). It was getting dark and Whiskey needed a turn to play as he kept checking in as if to ask when it was his time for play, so I decided to wait until another time to sit on her and ride.
Whiskey was fun on the ground (as usual). I took him to one of the logs and asked for him go sideways down the length of it with the log positioned under his belly, he did it gracefully and gorgeously (no surprise). We also played around the other logs and had a little fun. I laid over him a few times and mounted. He was a little tense and I decided that I'd just sit on him and massage him. Then I dismounted and gave him a leg massage too.
Unfortunately, this was about all we could do for the night as it was now dark. So, I walked back to the barn, horses all following me, fed them, cleaned the barn out, and took Morgan for a walk back to the house (she waited in her outdoor kennel, patiently while I played with the horses).
I hope that the ground dries up and I can continue to play, finally, with regularity again. I am going to ask Rick to get some lights mounted for me as soon as he can. :) I love my life, my horses, my husband, and am really looking forward to things yet to come.
So you might read this and think, what the heck, why didn't she just ride all of the horses, push them to do more, etc. Please, don't forget, you know you're doing Parelli when..."You put the relationship with your horse before anything else (principles before goals)." And this is a tenant that I always adhere to! So, our relationship is strong, we all had fun, and have a good foundation for our next play time! :)