Its been a loooooong time since I've posted. Not that anyone has really noticed since I only have a few readers, but I still feel a little guilty. Life has been a little busy in the last few months. Just 3 short weeks after my last post I went into labor and delivered our little boy via C-section 7 weeks early. He was born on 6/8/09 at 4:53 am weighing in at 5 lbs 4 oz. No real reason for his early arrival other than I have an odd, heart shaped uterus and he seemingly ran out of room. He is very healthy and now at nearly 13 weeks old weighs in at over 12 lbs. Motherhood is trying and tiresome but I love our little boy and wouldn't change it for anything. Although I do miss seeing my pony....
In the last few weeks I've been able to find a little time here and there to sneak away and have actually been able to visit Miss Summer. She's been happily spending this summer turned out to pasture and on a full care lease to the wonderful Susan. I was a little worried at first that if I wasn't working with her she would forget everything we've accomplished over those last few months. The first ride on her though since having the baby pretty much cleared those worries right up. She was still moving off my leg, neck reining right where I left her and even seemed to be a little softer in the mouth. A little on the lazy side but still pretty much the same horse. Susan has been doing a great job working with her. Two weeks ago we even ventured outside the arena and rode around the property. We did of course start schooling in the arena as a warm up and just to make sure her head was in the game. Just to make it interesting I opened the gate on the south end of the arena before hopping on. She found this VERY distracting, especially since she could see two other horses just beyond the pasture where this gate opens up into. I started off working her on the opposite end of the arena and got some good circles, stops and backing from her. Once I felt confident she was listening there we went to work in the entire arena and I did my best to ignore the open gate but to make sure I didn't let her slow down or pay too much attention to what was outside. Occasionaly on a pass she would drop her shoulder towards the gate and almost try to dive out. A few times of this and I decided to work her right next to the gate in small circles, first going one way at a trot until she relaxed and started paying attention to me and then reversing and going the other way. It didn't take long and eventually she was completely ignoring the open gate. As soon as she was bending into the circle and collecting up nicely I slowed her to a walk and we headed for the gate. We stepped outside on a loose rein and wandered around the small pasture. I asked her for a few stops and backs, got them quickly and willingly and then moved on to a few small circles. She was light and responsive and happy to be out in the sunshine, so was I. We ducked back into the barn aisleway and rode out into the gravel parking lot and across the little road to the big hay field. Still on a loose rein but a little faster than before, we explored the big field. Summer loved it and never once stopped to eat or tried to take off in her old famous speed walk. I loved just being able to meander around and not have a death grip on the reins, checking out each and every little cluster of trees and shadows. It was a great day.
Now on to present day.....We have several new boarders at the barn and I'm really excited to get to know them. One girl has a 2 year old QH filly (if I remember correctly) named Rip'In and she seems to get along with Summer really well. I met her the other day when I was out there with the farrier having Summer shod and she seemed very nice. The newest boarders are a little like having celebrities in the barn since I've been reading her blog for at least 6 months to a year. They do alot of eventing and dressage and I'm really excited to be able to ride with them. I was leaving Monday just when they were getting their horses out so I didn't get to talk to them much but tonight when I went out to the barn I was able to meet their horses, McKinna and Pandora. They just happened to be turned out with Summer and when I pulled her out of the pasture they tried following us up to the gate. Pandora, the larger of the two, got really brave and walked so close behind Summer she could have laid her head on her rump. Summer seemed a little irritated but didn't even try to kick her. I gently shooed Pandora and McKinna away so they wouldn't slip out of the gate. They were both very polite and stood quietly to the side while I opened the gate and brought Summer out with me. It was really nice to not be crowded and not once did either of them show any aggression.
Tonight Summer and I hit another milestone. I loped her for the first time since I got pregnant and after one lap on half the arena I asked her for a jog and she actually did it! Before, loping would get her so excited and hot that if I asked her for anything slower than a lope she would go straight into her high headed, bone jarring death trot. It was awful. But not this time! And I don't even think Susan has been able to lope her in some time, other than on the lunge line. I loped her both directions in small circles and each time she would come back to me just as calm as before I asked her to lope. I was beaming! The worst part about the ride was my butt slapping the saddle several times which I'm not sure if its due to me being out of shape or the fact I was riding in Susan's saddle. Her saddle, a Crates, has a slick seat and my cheapy one has a felt type seat that seems to keep my hiney in place a little better. Next time I ride I'm going to use my saddle and see if that makes a difference. Another good part of the ride was that I actually had a looser rein while loping. Seems like both Summer and I are coming along pretty well. Hopefully soon I can get out and ride more than once a week.
Brockle - Protection Dog Fail
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