Monday, May 9, 2011

A Little Escape from Mania

Well, at least when I go to the barn.

People have been asking me for more pictures of Calico.  Truth is, we're actually doing more stuff now, so I never think of taking pictures or asking Amanda to take pictures. 

It's like handing me the camera at a convention.  I'm having too much fun to stop and take a photo.

Callie seems to be having fun, too.  She really likes exploring outside and is responding well to new stuff we're learning together.  As always, she's also very protective.  I'm learning the "half seat," which is basically leaning over and not sitting in the saddle.  First few times she felt me move out of the saddle, she stopped and looked back to make sure I was ok.  When we got down that we could do this at a walk, we moved to a trot.  If we started the trot when I was half seat, she was good, but if I decided to take a half seat while trotting, she had to stop and make sure I was ok.  Last lesson ended on the good note of us trotting a full lap around the ring - and over the Poles of Doom - with me in the half seat.  Yay!

The Poles of Doom are these small birch logs that we use to count steps and make the horses learn to extend and stretch their legs more - or, at least be more aware of where their hooves are falling - while we move.  Calico would prefer not to think of exactly where her feet are falling, so she doesn't like them.  However, it's good for both of our movement and balance, so we work on them a little each lesson.  If I'm not paying full attention, though, she'll cut around them.

It's really hard to pay attention while learning to keep your own balance in stirrups at a trot when you probably can still count on both hands how many times the pair of you have trotted together.

Our last visit didn't have any riding, though.  In hindsight, I probably could have still done some bending and flexibility work with her, but I'm not feeling 100% yet, and she really, really, really wanted to go back out to pasture to hang out with her girls. 

Did you know that horses, like cats, dogs, and rabbits, can master the "I'm so cute you want to make me happy, don't you?" look?  Horses - Calico's not the first horse who's done this to me - will even lay their forehead on your shoulder and sigh deeply to make their point.

I can be a real sucker for the Cuteness Factor sometimes.

So, last Friday she just got a spa treatment with a new bug guard stuff, plus Skin-So-Soft and her new fly mask, before I released her back with Babe and Sesame.  Oh the drama!  She's not the bottom of the totem pole in this herd!  She whinnies the second I let her off the lead rope, throws her head and tail to the wind and gallops - yes, gallops! - over to her girls, who fall into place alongside her and start sniffing her up and down and grooming.  Once everyone is satisfied with everyone's general well-being, they clump together and move from hay pile to grass mound.  That I took pictures of!

The other horse with the fly mask is Babe, and Sesame is the bay with a few white marks.  By now, you should be able to pick out Calico.  She's pretty hard to miss!



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