June got put through ALL her paces this past week, and I’ve got to admit, I am very proud of how she stepped up to the plate.
On Tuesday, she had her first lesson since returning. I had Trainer Sarah hop on her first-I wanted Sarah to have a clear idea of where June was at and what we needed to work on. Sarah worked her hard. She didn’t let June get away with anything, and while June kept trying different tactics, (which will be a post of its own) in the end, June was willing and tried hard.
And then, Sarah handed the reins to me. And all I could think was “You want me to get on her after you just worked her hard? Great. She’s going to buck me into next week.” I mean, that was pretty much the MO of our last ride. She got tired, I made her keep working, and she said “NO THANK YOU.” (That loudly..)
But I hopped on her and I got this.
She went to work and really, really, impressed me. We worked for about 20 minutes and I got a feel for all her evasion tactics, but also got a glimpse of what things would be like in the future. And I am really,really, excited.
Next up was trail ride with my friend Haley and her talented and adorable OTTB Tommy. This would be a tough ride for June. Lots of hills and lots of tough terrain. It was also her first trail ride with me back in the saddle since her return. She loaded up easily (and has even been granted her hay bag back so she can eat out of that instead of a hay net) and after a quick lunge at the trail head, we were off.
She was basically perfect.
She led, followed, thought about where she was putting her feet, ignored Siri running around, and even crossed a stream! I was thrilled with her.
I hoped she was tired, because the day wasn’t over for her yet.
When we got back to the barn, Haley and I brought our horses into the indoor arena and got ready for a time-honored fall tradition.
I’ve clipped June’s bridle path, and de-sensitized her to the sound and feel of clippers, but this would be her first time getting body clipped. I soon realized I didn’t have an extra extension cord and that she would just have to ground tie. So, expecting the worst, I got started. And she stood there, back foot cocked, not moving for about 3/4 of the entire experience. She got a little antsy at the end, especially since Tommy was also done, so we have some finish work to do. But honestly, I clipped her head, belly, flank,and had zero issues. She couldn’t have been easier. Um, she was better than Georgie. But don’t tell anyone I said that.
And then, to end the week, I agreed to help out with Drill Team. You may remember I did this with Georgie a couple of years ago. It’s kind of organized insanity. Lots of horses, flags, more horses, and lots of riding in pairs.
June was a little skeptical. Not about the flags flying by her, but by horses getting too close to her. She made it clear she likes her personal space.
She was, once again, a really, really, good sport for all of it. We did some “pattern” work and her biggest challenge was slowing down for her partner, a western pleasure horse who was in no hurry.
I’m hopeful drill makes a warm up arena seem like no big deal.
It was quite a week for this baby horse’s brain, and I think she proved to me just how capable she is of being a big girl!