Have you ever had a day, or two, that are really bad, full of tension and stress and worry? And then you go see your horse, hoping he is doing well and nothing bad has happened, because you just don’t have any extra emotional energy to deal with it? Luckily, your horse is fine, and is maybe even glad to see you. And then you have the best time in the world with your special horse, and it is healing, and relaxing, and wonderful, just when you need it most? Well, that was my experience last weekend. After some work stresses, I had a great time Saturday and Sunday with Buckshot. He was perfect both days. Such a good horse. And I so needed it.
We had good rides on Saturday and Sunday, but I’ll just write about Sunday. The farm was quiet since the BO and BOH had gone to the reining clinic (I am taking a break from it). The weather was perfect- sunny, cool, in the 70’s, blue sky and slight breeze.
After I got Buckshot from his pasture and groomed and tacked him up, we went into the arena. There had been rain the previous night, making parts of the arena soupy. I set up three cavaletti, and two tall poles. We started our warm up walk and used the cavaletti to walk over and around. We walked around the perimeter of the arena so I could monitor how soft various sections were, and I determined what area we could ride in. It’s been many months since we have used cavaletti, but I love to trot over them so I thought it would be fun to use them again. After our warm up, we started trotting and after a bit, I started from one end of the arena and headed to the cavaletti, and Buckshot float-trotted over them! It was wonderful! He didn’t touch any of the poles! We did it several times, and about the fifth time, he hit one of the poles and moved it off course. But such fun!
We did some cantering that was lovely. And then we started walking out of the arena. Buckshot wanted to explore so I let him lead. He walked out strongly, then slowed down, so I took up the reins and led us around a bit. Then he started walking in another direction. Hmm, I thought, where is he going? He walked over to the side of the arena and down the rail. At the end, we stopped and I turned us around, and he walked over to the trailhead. I thought, he wants to go on the trail! And he did. All by ourselves! He walked confidently down the trail! We had a great time – walking through the lovely woods, over the creek, exploring some of the smaller side trails, and then returning. All by ourselves!! Without having to urge him to go! I was so happy, and surprised that he wanted to do this.
After the trail, we went back in the arena and worked on various patterns. When we had been riding for about an hour, I thought it was time to stop. We did a little more trotting, and then I walked, cooling down, and said to Buckshot, okay, we’ll go outside the arena and dismount. So we walked out of the arena, and surprise! Buckshot didn’t stop, but turned and walked over to the trailhead again! He wanted to go back on the trail! And so we went into the woods again, and had a nice second ride. My dear, sweet horse, who usually doesn’t want to go on the trail without other horses, in one day, wanted to go on the trail alone, twice! What a surprise! I guess you never know what they are thinking. It was such a nice ride!
You know, now that summer is ending, Buckshot is very sad about one aspect of summer coming to an end- getting washed. He loves the wash stall and frequently wants to go into it whenever we are just walking by it. The reason - treats! He gets to eat a handful or two of sweet feed whenever I wash him. So he loves to be washed!!
Knowing this, I had decided in advance that even if he wasn’t sweaty after our ride, I would take him to the wash stall and give him a “dry bath.” I planned to brush him and brush out his mane and tail, so he could have his sweet feed. As it turned out, he was a tiny bit sweaty, so I rinsed off his barrel and girth area, and then scraped the water off, followed by brushing his mane and tail and spraying him with Vetrolin conditioner. Then I walked him back to his pasture. I was so proud of him and grateful for the wonderful rides we had- I really needed the calm and restoration of being with him, and he couldn’t have been any better. Thank you, sweet Buckshot, you are the best horse in the world. And full of surprises – good ones! – at times as well.
Hope you had a wonderful time with your horse! And isn’t the cooler weather just fabulous?