Sunday, June 1, 2014

First Ride at Home

Yesterday evening I walked Lucy around the property, by herself, without Pistol along for moral support. Pistol was not pleased. When I went to the pasture to fetch Lucy, Pistol met me at the gate pushing Lucy out of the way. I had to shoo Pistol away. Pistol trotted off, but she sent a pissy mare squeal my direction as she left. I walked Lucy up to the dressage court where we did a few laps -- just enough to get her relaxed and bored with the place. Then we walked through the barn and around the back of the round pen by the small arena. She was completely relaxed, but curious, about the wash rack, the mower, and the tractor. Pistol was pacing the fence line, waiting for Lucy to return.

This morning, we were up at first light -- around 5:30. We wanted to get our ride in before church -- the afternoons and evenings are miserably hot and buggy.  While Brett fed the geldings and mucked their pasture, I took care of the girls. Lucy was standing with her head over the goat's fence, visiting with them. Problem with goats? I don't think so.

Pistol's bucket of supplements consists of a handful of vitamins, and another handful of bugg-off garlic pellets, and a carrot. Lucy gets a large scoop of low-carb vitamin pellets and a whole bunch of other stuff (her previous owner gave me a month's supply - it includes mare attitude herbs, coat conditioner, joint supplements and ulcer prevention). Pistol licked her bowl clean in the time Lucy ate two bites; then Pistol came over to finish Lucy's bowl. Lucy walked away -- she is not alpha, clearly. I had to keep shooing Pistol away until Lucy finished. I think we will bring Lucy in the barn for her bucket in the future.

After chores and a quick breakfast we tacked up the horses. Pistol was not pleased that Lucy got to go out and be ridden -- and to hang out with gorgeous Mufasa at the tie rail. Brett and I were in the saddle at 8:00. Lucy was a bit high-headed at first but she settled quickly.

I wish Sandy could have seen us.

We worked at walk for quite awhile and I kept Lucy busy with leg yields and haunches-in. She was like butter gliding sideways across the arena and we nailed haunches-in. At trot, she stretched her neck down and forward, relaxing and stretching her back. I hadn't planned to canter her on our first ride at home, but she felt so awesomely supple and sensible that I went ahead and asked. I actually said it out loud. Brett called over, "Are you okay?" and I said "I am in heaven. I could do this forever." We did few circles, then we went down the long side, another circle, another long side, an entire lap of the arena, on-and-on-and-on. Both directions.

At one point, I asked Lucy to come a bit rounder as we approached the corner and I must have braced a bit in my back -- she came round, and she collected. Wow!! At another time, I got the rhythm in my hands messed up and instead of following, the reins went a bit slack and then caught her in the mouth with the next stride. She tossed her head "Knock it off. That doesn't feel good." and I felt horrible. I said I was sorry and focused harder. Lucy forgave me -- because she is the sweetest mare, ever. EVER.

I could hear Pistol screaming at us the entire time we were up in the dressage court. I guess the two of them have bonded a bit. And, Pistol had a good day too. Her owner is back from France and came over to visit. She and Pistol had a love fest that involved some mutual grooming (why didn't I have the camera!). Pistol gets to stay here for awhile longer as she is happy. We're all happy about that - me, Brett, Lucy and the boys.


  1. You and Lucy have arrived! Wow!

  2. This is so funny.. I have been worrying about Pistol leaving... and I am so glad you just reassured us!

  3. Just wonderful to hear!

    You might want to consider feeding using feed bags - that way each horse gets its own feed only and the other horse can't take it away. I've done that successfully, and the Paradigm Farms folks feed all their horses that way.

  4. Like butter! How great is that!!!

  5. Oh good god - we lost another good rider to a mare...LOLOLOL

    Honestly, she sounds like a good ride, and a good partner. Good things come to those who wait...and research!



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