I had a fabulous weekend – hope you guys did, too. The weather couldn’t have been better. The sun was out and the temps hovered around the 25C mark. Absolutely glorious. I have Friday afternoons off May until the end of August. I headed out to the stables Friday afternoon and gave my guy a good grooming. Usually there is NO ONE at the stables on Friday afternoons, so I don’t ride (yes, I am a chicken). But last Friday, there were a couple of helpers in the old barn stacking hay in the loft, so I tacked up and rode in the front paddock.
Gem was full of beans and anxious to get outside. For the first time in a long time, I had to reposition him a couple of times next to the mounting block before I could get on him. When I got on him, he actually started to walk off before I was positioned in the saddle. I made him “whoa” and I backed him up and then made him wait. Then we started off walking. He was prancing. After a long work week, I was suffering with computer body fatigue and had no wish to wrestle with Gem. I had a light-bulb moment….I remember one of the trainers at a clinic telling a girl to hum to calm her horse. Why not! At first, his ears were twitching back and forth (what the heck is that noise?!) and then he starting listening. He started relaxing – it was subtle, but he wasn’t pulling on the bit any longer. I started enjoying myself (I think it helped me relax too!). The tension started to leave my shoulders. I started to relax. Don’t ask me what I was humming to him, but it morphed into serenading my boy. Yes, I belted out “Killing Me Softly”, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”, “You Are My Sunshine”, “Jingle Bells”, ”Into the Night”; I know the words to these songs. :-) The helpers got an earful, no doubt. Not sure if my voice was carrying over the small hills and pastures, but I was having a grand time in the sunshine and I think Gem was, too.
My Niece was dropped off for the weekend Friday evening. We did some running around on Saturday, planted the rest of the annuals and watched two of the Twilight movies over the weekend (we are both in Jacob’s camp). My Niece made an interesting comment after the movies; she doesn't like that Bella needs to be saved by guys all the time. That's my girl..... :-)
My Niece brought her boots and helmet with her, and Sunday we went to the stables. She has been taking English lessons once a week since February and wanted to show me what she had learned. I dusted off my Courbette saddle for her and put it in the trunk. Geez, I had forgotten how much lighter English saddles were compared to Western! My Niece groomed and tacked up Gem. I was SO impressed! We led him outside and after tightening the girth, without any hesitation, up she got! I walked beside her for one lap (it made me feel better) and then she continued to warm Gem up at a walk and then started posting trot. You know, she looked pretty darn good! I admired how she managed Gem and how he responded to her. She has to work on her legs and heels down (hello?!). However, her hands were excellent and when she was posting, she was on the correct diagonal every time. Gem did everything she asked. My Niece explained the importance of having contact with the bit, showed me how to do a 2-point and explained why when you are JUMPING you shouldn't lean into your horse's neck before the jump because may get bonked in the head as his head comes up to go over. She's been taking lessons for 4 months! Boy, I wish they sold that fearlessness in a bottle.
Indulge a proud auntie.....
Gem thought she wanted to lope but she convinced him it was a trot she wanted.