Monday, March 7, 2011

Groundwork and Riding

On Saturday Buckshot and I had a good ride at the barn. The weather was cloudy and slightly warm, a perfect pre-spring day. We worked on our gate opening project, which is coming along very slowly, but coming along. Buckshot is curious what these funny little exercises are that we are doing at the gate. But he is trying his best to get them right. After that, we rode, first our phase one walking for twenty minutes. Then when we started trotting, he was ready to go! He trotted very energetically. After a bit, a student in the class came out with her horse and Buckshot was so happy to see another horse in the arena. Then a few more students and horses came out, including my sister on her school horse. We trotted and cantered nicely and then went on a trail ride. When we got to the field arena, we did some work there. Buckshot again trotted with great energy and enthusiasm. We cantered a few times as well. Then we headed back to the barn. In all, Buckshot and I rode for two hours. He did great!

Sunday was a rainy day. I drove to the barn in the rain. Once at the farm, I used the time to clean out my tack trunk, all the way to the bottom! I’ve become friends with one of the barn cats that owns this particular barn, and he helped me with the cleaning, by supervising as much as he possibly could! You probably know what I mean – rubbing my legs, and sniffing everything and getting in the way as much as possible! LOL! But encouraging me all the same! I threw out some old and unusable items, and wiped down everything. I even brought some brushes home to wash. I’m bad about keeping my grooming tools in tip-top condition. So I am determined to wash these brushes, take them back and exchange them for some others, and eventually get them all cleaned. I hope to get them washed really well maybe once a year. (That’s about as likely as my vacuuming goals, which are “whenever!” LOL!)

After cleaning my tack trunk, the rain had stopped so I went up to Buckshot’s pasture with some cones and a dressage whip and we did groundwork exercises in his pasture. He did very well; he was attentive, and tried hard with each exercise. Finally, however, he seemed to lose interest (he started eating grass instead of listening to me). Since he had done quite a few exercises by then, I thought it was fair to bring our work to an end. I worked on picking up poop in his yard and some in the grass. He went into his barn/run in, and had a chat or a nap with his pasturemate.

Then today, Monday, I took off of work to go out to the barn for a vet call. It was time for Buckshot’s annual vaccinations and fecal count and I wanted to be there. We had several horses for the vet to see. Buckshot did great- he didn’t even flinch at the shots! She listened to his heart and said it sounded fine, and strong. And he had kindly deposited some poop just minutes before she arrived so getting a sample was easy. I watched another horse get his teeth floated. And the other horses were looked at as well.

Later, I went back to Buckshot’s pasture and we had another good groundwork session. He tried really hard to do what I asked. In trying to do a half pass, he moved his feet, he tried, but I could almost hear his frustration “But I don’t know what you are asking for!” I told him it was one of the harder things to do, and I understood his frustration, but I appreciated it that he was trying so very hard to get it, or get something right. So I gave him the thank-you treat.

He is also so funny at times. When he thinks he has gotten an exercise right, or that he has done it enough, he will nicker, as if to say, I’ve done it! I’ve done it! Now do I get the treat! I love his young-horse innocence and enthusiasm! And the best, the very best moments I have with Buckshot are not when I am riding him, but are the times in his pasture when I am walking and he is right there by my arm, with his head low, relaxed and trusting and wanting to be with me. Those are the big heart-warming, heart-swelling moments for me, when I love and appreciate him so very much! Thank you, dear Buckshot!


Grey Horse Matters said...

Aww, Buckshot and you are the perfect pair, whether working together or just hanging out. He's such a good boy and I love that he tries to do it all right for you and the nicker is really cute too. So happy for you both that you found each other.

juliette said...

Oh that is adorable! The nicker for getting it right and please give me a treat - Love it!

He is just so happy with you, Jan. You are a wonderful horse mom.

I am bad about my brushes too. I promise I will be better, but I am not too good. This time of year with all the mud makes my efforts wasted anyway.

Jan said...

Arlene and Juliette,
Thanks for your comments! I admire how both of you handle and enjoy your horses as well- you are great horse owners!

Carol said...

I always look forward to reading your posts and how you interact with Buckshot. You two are really a team and I'm glad he appreciates how you pamper him (in a good way). What a great Mom you are! It's so cute that he nickers when he gets something right.
I know what you mean about those heart swelling moments. I could stand all day and just breath in their sweet smell :)

Jan said...

Carol, Thank you for your kind comments! I love reading your blog as well and I am learning a lot from you and your special Rogo!