Our wonderful babysitter came this morning for a couple hours so I could get some rides in on my geldings. Cue applause! Whether you asked for them or not, here are all the little details of those two happy hours:
10:02 I walked out the front door and headed up the drive to catch my ponies. How nice is it that my ponies basically live in my backyard?! Super nice.
10:05 I pulled the halters out of the barn and walked over to Hot Rod and Kona’s gate. I love that they always walk up to ME. Well, most of the time. But they have never been hard-to-catch horses, and for that I’m eternally grateful. There are few things I can tolerate. But hard-to-catch horses? Uh huh. Nope.
10:07 I start to lead them to my trailer to tack-up. Most of my boarders store their tack in one of my tack rooms, but I secretly like to have my own little space and keep my tack separate. It does mean that I have to tack-up outdoors each time no matter what the weather is, but that generally doesn’t bother me too much. I like to be outside. 🙂 Oh, look! The barn kitties (Leon and Tabby) came to check out what I was doing and beg for more cat food.
10:08 Aaaaaand they’re still following me half-way down the drive. I love barn kitties.
Spring time is so beautiful, but it also guarantees longer walks to the trailer, because my horses HAVE to stop and munch on grass every 10 feet. I don’t get this, because they live outside for goodness sake! But, I guess the grass really IS greener on the other side…
10:10 I start to groom Hot Rod and then tack-up. For better or worse, I’m a pretty fast groomer. A little brushy brush here, a little currying there, and Boom! Done. Here’s Hot Rod giving me attitude about tacking-up. During these first few re-conditioning rides, he pins his ears and lets me know how much he’d rather not have something strapped to his big belly. Sorry, buddy. You gotta.
10:30 I mount-up and ride for a solid 30 minutes. We did lots of long-trotting and trotting over poles to work on conditioning. I asked him to give his face and collect his body to help start strengthening those sleepy muscles. I know they’re there somewhere… Then, I checked his transitions from the halt-to-lope, walk-to-lope, and then trot-to-lope. These are the most difficult transitions for him, and I only focused on the right. He has a much harder time with his right lead, so I double-up on this side to strengthen it.
11:00 I walk back to the trailer and quickly groom Kona. Then, I switch my saddle pad and saddle over to him. See, this is why I need to buy a new saddle pad for him. I don’t mind sharing tack between the two most of the time, but when they start to get real sweaty, it just grosses me out. I have another saddle pad, but the fit just isn’t great. I need to get that done so I can cross it off my goal list.
11:15 I start to ride Kona and I ride a solid 30 min on him as well. Kona and I are just now settling into a groove with one another. I’m still figuring him out and he’s still testing me. Today, it was super windy so he was “looky” and distracted for the first ten minutes. Kona warms up well with lots of circles and bending. As opposed to Hot Rod, who does well with lots of straight long-trotting and then incorporating some suppleness. Just like people, they’re very different! Towards the end, we worked on my trot-to-lope transitions. We still have a short egg-beater moment before he falls into the lope. So, I really need to focus on lifting him into the lope more precisely.
11:45 I jump off, put my tack away, and quickly brush them both down. Oklahoma has been very dry lately, so I slathered some hoof oil on their parched feet. Not sure how much that actually helps? But it makes me feel better. I also sprayed them with some of my new Shine Bright spray from The Herbal Horse. More on that later…
11:55 I walk them back to their pasture and give them pats. I attempt to take a cute selfie with Kona. *Attempt*
12:00 I admire my sweaty horses (because in my opinion, sweaty horses are happy horses), then walk home to relieve the sitter! Those two simple, yet glorious, hours will feed my soul for the whole day 🙂