The best laid plans...often go straight out the window when it comes to horses!
Case proved by the last couple of days. After a hard day's work on a fashion shoot I returned all the lovely menswear back to its home in the Metrocentre (thanks for the loan guys!). With the last suit tucked up in bed my back gave out in one giant, painful spasm.
I was not a happy child and drove home with clenched teeth, weeping in a very unheroic way. A night sleeping on the floor didn't work its usual magic but the next day I had two guardian angels who at least got me to stop crying - a lady at work who bunked me up with codeine and my chiropractor, who offered to stay late and put me back together again.
Interestingly, my back problems created a weird dynamic with Cady. In our training session today she started trying to boss me about again - horses are so smart and she's testing me to see if she can push it while I'm 'lame'! Little monkey - thankfully I have some fantastic Godmothers who can work with her and make sure she's not taking a lend.
I'm still too wobbly to ride so while I'm out of the saddle I'm resisting the urge to sulk and instead coming up with some new aims to work towards. We're hacking out in company, starting to jump and competing in a winter dressage series so the riding side of things is progressing nicely.
Now it's time to think a bit more creatively about projects we can work on while I'm grounded and that will work with the dark nights. My overall goal is to keep our relationship tight and hold onto her interest - like her mother, Cady needs plenty going on or she starts looking out the window and day-dreaming!
My first aim is to become proficient in horse massage...since interviewing the lovely Angela Hall and hearing rave reviews from a friend who did her owner's course, I've been curious. Apart from the bonding benefits I'm keen to keep Cady healthy since my back problems will no doubt be having an affect on her straightness and vice versa. Angela's leant me a copy of her dvd so I'll be cracking on with that this week.
Up next is to advance our groundwork. Cady's doing great hacking out with other horses but she's still lacking confidence on her own. To work on this I'm going to start taking her out in-hand in the fields surrounding her home so she gets comfortable with being away from the herd and can see for herself that Sunderland has very few lions roaming about...
Till my back improves I'm also going to aim to broaden my knowledge on 'problem' horses. The fantastic Gail Jeffrey (who I'll be interviewing for this blog soon) has offered to let me go along and see her working on some different cases, starting tomorrow at the unearthly hour of 7am. Early start aside I can't wait. I've always liked watching experts at work and always end up coming away with a boat-load of new ideas. Will report back soon...