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Friday the 13th

I am not a superstitious woman, but when silly happens, it doesn’t hurt to have something out of my control to blame it on.

Friday was due to be my last lesson at Myrddin.  I always leave my helmet and boots in my tack box at GEC.  So my first stop was there.  Upon return to my car, funny thing… I was locked out.  My car is not supposed to lock if the keys are inside (there is an RFID in it), and there they were, sitting right in plain sight on the passenger seat.  And here I though those keys were supposed to be foolproof.

Fortunately, I was at the barn and not stranded anywhere.  Yes I did have to forfeit my last lesson, but I still was able to have a great ride.  We started in the ring, where I did half a mile of walking to warm up, and tested him with a full mile of trotting.  He passes!  Barely broke a sweat.  He was behaving quite well too, speedy at first, but calmed down pretty quickly.  We went out on a walk with Liz and Kahlua, circling the corn fields and plateau a few times before night started to settle in.  Total for the day was 4 miles, mostly walking.

Saturday had a bit of 13th continuance in the fact that it was just a disgusting day at work.  I found a dead, flattened mummified bird in Grace’s paddock, a dead soggy mouse or mouse like critter in the wash stall (it got pretty beat up as i tried to shovel it away, so unsure) and pieces of a dead slobbery worm that trailed from one end of the barn to the other.  Darn dogs!  Oh and then when I went to eat my breakfast, the cat came within inches of vomiting in my oatmeal.  It was really tough to eat that mush after that.  I have to say, working at the barn has made me tougher… i don’t think i could have ever picked up that stuff before.

Aside from the extra messes to clean up, I was able to get out of there for a lunch that was long enough to accommodate a good ride and actually had energy for it!

Bentley was being a pain in the rear for the first half of it.  There was some light rain as we mounted up in the indoor, and made him anxious of the sound on the roof.  Very difficult to mount indeed!  We took right off to the trail since both the outdoor rings had lessons, something I have never done yet.  We walked the first quarter mile, but he was so antsy, I let him trot up the gradual hill at the back end of the cornfields figuring it would help wear him out.  Not at all, he busted into a canter and I had a terrible time trying to get him down the hill into the plateau.  Once we got there, things weren’t much more sane, we couldn’t get the trot for quite a while.  I ended up treating the plateau like an inflated dressage ring, and would figure 8 him at every “Letter” location, or do serpentines from one side to the other.  This took us quite a long time.  He is very good when he has to make all the turns, but as soon as I let him go straight, he wanted to run.

We slowed down to the walk and decided to go back to the corn fields for a walk to have a mental break.  I was getting a little stressed from containing him and I don’t think it was helping.  We went back up via the stairs, which he LOVES for some reason.  He actually jumped them from the walk this time instead of one leg at a time.  Stairs are a cross country obstacle/jump  ours are a set of 2 about 2′ high each.  They are set up a very steep hill, and unlike a regular jump, there is an up, but no down after it.  So having 2 or more is like a very large staircase for horses.  He was even starting to pull towards them later in our ride.  Funny guy, love his spirit!

When we came back to the plateau again, he was much quieter.  Still had a tendency to run when I would let him go straight, but would only get 2-3 strides in before he listened to my Whoa’s .  Eventually we were trotting consistently around the perimeter.

We also ran into Ernie and her dog as we came out of the plateau a second time.  He took off at a gallop, but I circled him quickly and dismounted.  After a few minutes, I had him beside the dog, and he was calmly eating grass.  Not a bad recovery!

Went back to the barn and into the small sand ring to blow off some steam at the canter in a safe place.  I cant seem to get him to pick up his right lead.  Not sure if I am unbalanced when I am asking him (we were having some troubles in the corner) or if hes just not getting it yet.  He usually picks up both leads correctly, but they could have been flukes.  His head didn’t seem all there, so I am guessing we just need more practise and that it isn’t an unsoundness thing.

He was pretty sweaty by that time, so I decided to try and get him to cross the stream.  Again I dismounted and tried to lead him over it.  Boy, was it ever tough, he did NOT want anything to do with it.  And it was only 1.5′ wide, about an inch deep.  Where was that brave horse from the stairs?  About 15 minutes went by of tugging and spinning and him calling to his friends.  Then a group of lesson students walked by on the far side of the field, across the raging rapids.  It seemed to give him some extra motivation (or maybe he had just had it with me nagging… by that time I was in the stream myself showing him exactly how easy it was) and as they disappeared out of sight, he awkwardly hopped through the stream behind me.  We caught up with the schoolies and finished our ride at 8.5 miles exactly.  I think we had ridden for about an hour and 50 minutes.  Not bad considering a lot of that was balking at water and dogs!

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