Friday, October 25, 2013

Settling into Barn Life

Grace is doing really well in her new life at the barn. She quickly settled into the herd and has her two favorite boys that she nickers to and calls for when they are out of their stalls. I don’t think that I could move her out to be on her own again if I wanted to. Right now she is teaching one lesson a week but I anticipate that she will be taking on another little girl within the next week. If I take Grace into the arena and another horse is teaching a lunch line lesson she just stares at the other horse as if to say “hey that’s my job!” She still amazes me with just how good she is with the little people! Most days I work her on the lunge line with a trail ride and an arena ride or two per week. She has a stall with a nice sized paddock and occasionally gets pasture turnout. She isn’t complaining one bit about the less intense work schedule. 

I’ve been riding Joe as often as I can and have added one day a week of Peggy Cummings ground work. I may have said this before but Joe is an absolute joy to ride! I could sit his lope all day long. Once again I am finding out that I am actually a good rider but Grace wasn’t doing me any favors. It’s been a really nice experience to add leg to a horse and have him pick up his back, to ask him to move his hip and he just moves it, to ask him to pick up a shoulder and he just picks it up. I also find that when I get back on Grace I ride her with less emotion and put up with less of her attitude. I am no longer preparing for the show ring but working towards a goal of having her soft and quiet for the kids that will be riding her.

I have the opportunity to show Joe this winter at the indoor show series we attend and as much as I would love to I need to take a step back financially. I am getting ready to move into my own place and need add the grown up word of “budget” to my vocabulary. I also need to find out just how much the divorce is going to cost me. I had hoped to avoid involving an attorney but it is starting to look like I will need one. Last week my husband threatened to take Grace but then settled down and said he wasn’t going to do that. I pointed out to him that she is an older horse that won’t pass a vet check so whatever price tag he think he has on her is overinflated. This is the part of the process I wasn’t looking forward to.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Beginings

When I first moved Grace to Sarah's I offered her up for the lesson program. I figured Grace could help earn her keep and I could have a day or two a week that I didn't ride her. Grace taught her first lesson this past Saturday. I knew that Grace would be good on the lunge line - it is a routine she's had down since she was 3 years old. What I didn't know was how she would react to being ridden by children. Grace was an absolute super star, the little girl that rode her is an experienced rider with very good balance. She packed the little girl around with her head down the entire time like she was carrying precious cargo. When I heard Holly the instructor mention the canter I stopped what I was doing and immediately tensed knowing that Grace has a tendency to act out in the canter departure and they were going to the left which is her difficult lead. Much to my surprise Grace stepped up into the most beautiful rhythmic left lead canter. At the end of her lesson her little person leaned forward to wrap her arms around Grace's neck. At this time I still plan to ride and work with Grace but I will be open to the possibility of sharing her with a little person if the opportunity is there.

This handsome boy is Joe! He is one of Sarah's rehab horses that she owns - one that she has vowed to hold onto. He doesn't currently have someone riding him consistently and my saddle just so happens to fit him perfectly! Joe is very deep hocked and has the most lovely lope! I'm really enjoying riding him and I swear I could sit his lope all day! I'm still living day to day right now with my living situation and am not sure what my ability to show this winter will be but I would love to sit on Joe in the show ring. It would also take the pressure off Grace and I to preform at that level.