Sunday, September 29, 2013

This Too Shall Pass

There is storm system north of us sending cloudy skies and breezy conditions to our valley.

The rain from last weekend soaked the ground and sunshine coaxed the seeds into sprouting; we have green grass springing up in the pastures.  Finessa has wasted no time in sampling it.

After breakfast and chores, Brett and I headed into Placerville to look for a mud room bench at the Antique Fair.  We wanted a small bench that we can sit on while taking on and off our shoes.  We found exactly what we were looking for, wedged it into the back of the Subaru and headed back to the ranch.  I wanted to ride before our lunch at MiraFlores winery.

We tacked up Winston and Mufasa in their stalls.  After all our work yesterday in the barn, it's finally horse friendly.

There are rings in the stalls for tying horses while they are tacked up.  Winston is good about being groomed and tacked up in his stall; we've done that at a few shows.  Mufasa doesn't like to be tied and will pull back so I used baling twine to create break-away loops.  You tie the lead ropes to the twine loop and that way the twine will break if the horse panics.

Mufasa stood quietly in his stall with one eye on Winston, next door, and the other on Brett.  The trust between Brett and Mufasa is steadily increasing.  They are so fortunate to have found each other.  Winston was a bit fussy, worrying about where everyone was and what they were doing.  We mounted and rode out to the dressage court, with Winston and I leading the way.  Winston walked into the arena without balking and we made a couple uneventful loops around the entire arena.  As I was getting ready to cross the arena and go the other direction, Winston decided he was done.  I understand that he was tired and no doubt sore from our work on Saturday but his behavior was unacceptable.  Once again, he plowed backwards dragging the arena rails and a pylon with him.  I know I should have smacked him with my whip and sent him forward and to work but, well, my confidence just isn't there.  I'm disappointed in myself.  Next time I will deal with it from the saddle.  And I know he will outgrow this and he will get fit.  He's six.  Its a difficult age -- kind of like the terrible twos.  Instead of grabbing the bucking strap, giving him a smart tap, riding out the inevitable buck and trotting off, I got him to walk forward by kicking.  Back in the arena, he threatened to go backwards again.  I kicked until he walked forward into a halt and then I got off.  The lunge line was hanging on the fence.  We worked on the lunge line, on transitions because they require obedience.  I hadn't planned to canter today but he ended up doing interval work -- canter-trot-canter.  He had to be prompt and he had to keep the gait going until I decided it was time to transition.  He has a bad habit of trying to make those decisions himself.  So, we did get some work done.  I will get braver.  He will get older.  This phase will pass.


  1. What's the temperature out there now? That rain should really perk things up. The barn sure is looking good. When Winston pulls that stuff, are you able to turn him in a tight circle so he can't keep backing? I can certainly appreciate the way you feel. When we moved to this farm I had to work with three horses in a row who had just been backed for a short period of time (all between 3 and 4 years old)...and I was and still am Miss Back Yard. It was probably good for me, and I went on to take a gazillion classical dressage lessons for years. Two of those horses were sent there for training and taking the lessons helped my confidence level. However, I had ridden them for quite some time on my own before that happened. Loved learning, but always rode for pleasure and it included a lot of trail riding out back and in parks. It's good that you have a husband who shares your passion and can keep you company.

  2. Don't be too hard on yourself.. I have the same issues with the mare I'm riding. I took a bad fall off of her almost 2 years ago now, & I still sometimes hesitate when she gets snarky. :/

    You're not alone!

  3. The barn looks great. As for Winston,well, he's still young and opinionated. I'm sure all that will change with more miles and guidance. In the meantime I think the more you ride him the more confidence you'll gain.

  4. I am glad to hear you don't do things you aren't comfortable with in dangerous situations. There is always another time for teaching. The barn looks amazing!


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