I picked up a nasty cold from my sister over the weekend but I was determined to keep on track and so went to the barn Tuesday evening with the goal to at least get on her even if for just a minute. I am just so pleased that when I step up on Hola she seems happy, relaxed and just totally comfortable with the idea. My DB came to watch and so I sat on her and talked to him for a good three minutes or so and stroked her neck.We were back in the round pen and the footing is just not ideal so I didn't bother asking her to do much besides move forward (even a few steps) when asked and to follow the inside rein a few times. I sat on her for another few minutes while talking to DB and she dropped one hip and stood relaxed. One day Hola is going to discover that an actual ride involves working... and they generally last more than three minutes. What a rude awakening that is going to be!
On Wednesday morning I had the farrier out and pulled Abby's shoes. She has been shod since Jan of this year and so I just about have a whole new foot (since I got her home in November 2013) and want to try her barefoot for the winter but needed to give her time to acclimate before the ground freezes so they came off. By the time I finished with the farrier and cleaned up I was just physically wiped and feeling feverish.
Thursday night (tonight) I dragged my sorry ass to the barn and wanted nothing more than to just get on Abs and go for a nice quiet walk in the field. I felt like a zombie. Instead I went to the field and got Hola. *pout* I didn't have the mind to ride but I could saddle her, lunge and then maybe take her for a walk and then, once I had done my duty, I could maybe jump on Abs bareback for a few minutes and go for a nice little wander in the hay field. Hola had other plans. I brought her in from the pasture and parked her in the barn isle to tack. She has been a little bit cranky when I go to cinch her and I have even had to bop her a few times for turning and nosing me when I am doing up the cinch. I don't crank on her and have been more than considerate when cinching so she has no excuse. Well! That spoiled little brat. I am just about pull up on the cinch when she turns her head around goes for it! I had my elbow half way up and so was able to catch her just as she started to nip the back of my arm. Oh, no... that is not going to fly. Hola has never nipped me. Ever. Aaaaaand I am going to guess that she will never try again after the 'come to Jesus' talk we had. And then she got an ass whoopin' on the lunge line. And then she got to do a bunch of circles around me as we walked in the hay field. I went down to the end of the road to wait for L. to come back from her ride. I wore my helmet and took an extra line. I figured it I was still feeling aggressive (riding the wave of my angry bravado) I would get L. to pony me the last few hundred yards home. By the time we got back towards the barn the adrenaline had worn off and I had I was damp with a cold sweat. Damn. I decided to send Hola out on the line to see what kind of frame of mind she was in... I asked her to roll back on my left then my right... and she responded with more than her usual snappiness! She dropped on her hocks, snapped back over herself and launched herself off in the other direction. I asked a half dozen times expecting her to chill out but she was just getting faster and snappier. It was near full dark by this time and she was obviously feeling fresh and a little spooky. I was not getting on that horse! No way, Jose! Not gonna happen! But then I could practically hear Biff (Back to the Future) saying, "What's wrong McFly! Chicken?" *cluck cluck cluck cluck* Dammit! Nobody calls me chicken! (even myself)... well, actually, everyone calls me chicken (especially myself) but not this time Mister! This time I was going to get. 'er. done mo-fo! So I got on. I may have been singing, "Hoooly sheeeeeet, this is a baaaaaad idea. Followed shortly after by "HOLY SHITBALLS" and a high pitched slightly hysterical giggle. But I got on. And I sat there for a minute or two. Hola's eyes were huge as she looked out over the field at something I couldn't see. Her whole body was taunt. I talked to her and (I may have been saying, "please don't blow, this is a bad idea, who's idea was this anyways?" but I was saying it in a nice calm voice and I managed to keep my whole body relaxed and centered. When I got her attention back a little I asked L. to walk us forward. We went a mile or so... HA! No, not really.... we went twenty feet or so when I asked L. to stop. Hola was staring hard at something in the far field and was obviously getting more worried. The crazy part was that she didn't feel like she was going to blow up, at all... like not even a little bit. When L. lead her forward she didn't hump her back, didn't brace up and moved forward freely. When I got off and started leading towards the barn her body stayed in the same posture and her expression remained alert but not spooked. It may have only been a few minutes... and twenty odd feet but it was really successful in that she was very much awake, not relaxed and fresh but still totally unconcerned with the fact that I was on her back. It probably wasnt the smartest decision to get on her. But it was more about me finding my nerve than it was about training Hola.
I am SO ready for our first real ride. And I know she is too. *big smile*