Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Riding at Home

This mod has been rough; my work schedule has been brutal and I've been feeling really guilty about not working with Skeets, but I'm up and off to work by 7:30 am and get home from work about 9:30 pm. One day, I decided that I was going to take a few hours off in the middle of the afternoon and work with her. Except that my boss scheduled a meeting right in the middle of the time I planned to be gone. I was *determined* to get some time working with Skeeter, so the second the meeting was over, I was out the door headed home.

I got home at 3:15 pm, jumped into some jeans and had Skeeter out of the pen by 3:30. I was feeling the time crunch since it gets dark so early right now.

I rushed her through her longing, only spending fifteen minutes or so before deciding to get on. She had just barely started paying attention to me on the longe line, but I said "good enough" and bridled her up.

I should have spend more time on the longe line. We had to spend quite a bit of time remembering how to line up at the stump for me to mount. Then we had to spend more time remembering how to flex and give to the rein.

Once she was sort of soft on the rein we started "riding" around the back yard. She's so heavy and unresponsive sometimes it's like riding an old plow horse. We rode serpentines and circles. Turning to the right is still something she's resistant to, so we spent a lot of time moving to the right.

I tried not to be frustrated, but I know I need hours to work with her, not just a few minutes here and there. I wasn't frustrated with her, but with work because I had thought I would have a minimum of three hours to work with Skeeter, which we both need. Instead I barely had an hour.

We ended our ride on a good note, just as she was starting to soften and pay attention, but I was cussing a blue streak because I know I need more time. I had wanted to get out on the farm road and start getting some miles on her.

Since she's an only horse right now, she always wants to be outside of the pen and asks daily if we're going to work. I'm feeling some serious "horse mommy guilt".

This past weekend was Baking Weekend, so I was up at Mom and Bill's from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon, but I needed some Skeeter time. I knew we wouldn't have time to ride, but by the time I got home, I had about half an hour before sunset, so I grabbed her out of the pen and we walked over for a visit at our neighbor's. It was the first time I've had her off our property since she came home and I took her over to a place with 11 other horses.  She did very well. There were a couple of times she forgot her manners, but getting set to doing circles worked pretty well at reminding her of them.

Since my neighbor's horses are all been-there, done-that lesson horses, I knew they would be just fine with a stranger visiting. Their laid-back attitude helped, I'm sure. Skeeter got a little high-headed when she smelled the other horses coming up their driveway, but settled right down.

Despite my "horse mommy guilt", I was very proud of how well she did and am looking forward to the day when I can ride her over to the neighbors.

Visiting the neighbor's was hungry work.


Linda said...

That was smart of you to do what you can do with what little time you have, because loading and hauling skills can get rusty, too. Leah has been regressing with hauling, actually. I feel your pain about the time crunch. I'm frustrated, too. I wish I had started her last spring, rather than fall. But, oh well, we do what we can and hope for some mild weather. Spring will be here soon enough and we'll have more daylight hours. As for her sluggishness, she might be more of a trail horse than an arena horse. Maybe she's bored.

GunDiva said...

We don't have an arena, so we're riding in our unfenced back yard. Eventually she'll be a trail horse, but until I have a solid left, right, and stop, we're stuck in the back yard. I don't want to be out on the roads and not be able to turn her away or toward something if I need to.

Just one day with a good three solid hours and I think we'll be riding off property, but I need good weather and uninterrupted time. Spring can't get here soon enough.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The shorter days of winter, the weather, and the holidays certainly don't help in getting us out to ride, and a busy work schedule can really screw things up.