Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Shift

We had another snowstorm on Wednesday and the Twin Cities got anywhere from 3 to 15 inches, depending on where they were. The horses go hit with around 15 inches and it was not fun. The horses had trampled down the snow around the hay bale and a path to the water trough, but not many hoof tracks anywhere else. They were having none of this nonsense.

But the weather was merciful and we've had beautiful weather that has been melting the snow rather quickly, which has made everyone rather happy. The horses have resumed molting and everything's become one big slushy puddle. So Royal and I still sticking to riding on the road.

I don't mind. The road is nice and squishy in parts and the rocks haven't come out too bad in the har spots. The wrinkle is that everything keeps changing and Royal's excellent memory remembers the way things were the last time we walked past, and now they're DIFFERENT, which means HORRIBLE DEATH MONSTERS OF DEATH, obviously. So the challenge has been getting him to walk past the HDMOD sanely, if giving them the hairy eyeball. I'm not trying to get him to bravely march past them like they're not there, but I expect him to at least not lose his brain. So far, it keeps getting better. He still gives pretty much everything the hairy eyeball, but not snorting past it like he's got the worst cold ever. But something else has changed.

Royal seems a lot happier to see me over the past few months. He recognizes my car and sees genuinely happy to approach me. He also doesn't need a lot of direction to align his body and stretches on his own. And yesterday while I was warming him up OnLine, he came over to me and held his head against my torso and stayed there for a couple of minutes. It was nice but odd. And then after I got on and we rode off, but when we got to the big dirt road, he wanted to go right instead of left, so right we went. He marched on proudly, until we got the end of the neighbors property and he turned and saw Them. The cows. In their winter pasture, not where he's used to seeing them, and staring at us. That of course, made his brain leave and we skittered around in view of the cows until he could walk sanely. And he kind of hovered back home, but at least he wasn't bolting.

St Croix Saddlery was having their Easter sale, so I dropped off the green blanket to be washed and fixed. While there, I finally bought a bit I'd been contemplating for months. It's a Myler comfort snaffle similar to the one I already have but with eggbutt cheek piece and a slightly thicker mouthpiece. And, after getting Chipotle, I headed home for a tack cleaning extravaganza. I cleaned and conditioned the stuff I haven't touched in years, and may not use again. But it's nice to have it clean again.

Today it was 70 (70!) degrees, so of course we went for another ride. I put on his new bit, but still left the halter on underneath and attached the reins to that.

At first he was confused.

But then he got distracted.

So we were off, and heading down the road. I asked him to trot to stretch his legs, and trot he did. We flew down the road, but he wasn't scared or tense. Just ticklish in the feet. We went down the little side road and he even broke into a canter. Just seemed happy. All pricked ears and bright eyes.

If everything goes halfway according to plan, Carriage House is going to be a blast.

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