I rode on Saturday again.
When I went to catch Arabee, boots and breeches and helmet (on this time, didn't leave it out of sight when I went out to catch her with the halter) she stood waaaaay in the back of the pasture. Head up, ears up, standing at attention in the middle of the cows, calves, and right next to the bull! Just stood there, watching me walk up......and when I got about 20 feet away, she bolted straightaway to the gate where I had begun calling her from! A few calves began to go with her, but turned away when they saw me coming.
She stood in the paddock area waiting for me while I trudged back the gentle uphill where I had hoped she'd come to me in the first place. I shut the gate so she'd have no opportunity to run away again, then haltered and saddled her. I wasn't mad....but I HAD decided that if she felt like running, she could do some on the longe line so I put on my gloves (I NEVER longe without gloves!!) hooked her up, and we took a few laps at the trot and canter - maybe 3-4 in each direction. She was responsive, calm, and it actually took quite a bit of effort on my part to get a canter out of her.
I clipped on the reins, unclipped the longe line, and mounted up. We walked circles around the barn lot driveway, while my husband and children fed calves and ran here and there in the Ford diesel pickup. Arabee's not too thrilled with the wrench rattlin' sound that thing makes, and when I could hear him driving in, I asked for a trot back to her familiar tacking up area, and we waited as they drove past to the house, no drama.
Oh my, it felt so good to trot my horse! Shoot, it felt great just walking around. She was moving so freely beneath me, calm and on a loose rein, and I was even pushing her comfort levels a bit (I took her down the road a bit, off property....she was not comfortable with that on our ride on Wednesday, but was really good about it this time). I have no clue how long we were out, but it was beautiful, wonderful, perfect....a better buzz than any drink! How is it that riding a horse can put a silly smile on a grown woman's face and leave it there for days? I'm not complaining, but I sure don't understand it!
After the ride, I had planned a quick touch-up on her hooves, I got a few surprise visitors - Luke and Cora had wandered up to the barn, so I opened up the back of the Jeep that was parked in the shed and told them to stay inside the jeep, while I rasped Arabee's hooves. That worked out pretty well. They got bored pretty quickly, and started climbing all around the inside of the jeep, but it didn't seem to bother Arabee.
I doubt I get the opportunity to ride tonight, and definitely not Tuesday....but I think both myself and my husband will try to push to find more opportunities for me. I think we'd both forgotten how pleasant I am on horses.
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