I decided to zap my inner cowgirl into life this morning. The novelty challenge was to catch and saddle up Rodney, go through a bit of schooling to check we had steering and brakes harmony and then ride up to Cady's field. Catch her, remount and ride Rodney/lead Cady back to the yard for their feeds.
The schooling was nice and we even managed to open and shut the arena gate smoothly. Rodney used to be worried the gate was going to bang into him but he stood quietly today and did really well.
We did some transitions and leg yielding into shoulder-in and then rode up to collect Cady. She had her worried face on at first and tucked her head up Rodney's bum but after a few mins she walked next to him really nicely with her head close to my knee. Then they had a bite to eat together and we headed back.
It's not miles to the yard from her field but it is a small trek and the point was to extract her from her bosom buddies and see a bit of the world beyond the haylage bale without getting her stressed to bits.
Also, when it's just me and Cady the shit tends to hit the fan and we have a blazing row so Rodney is our mediator. I love him and so does Cady which helps us to put down our dueling pistols for a bit.
It did feel a bit special to ride along with both of them and the sky was very pretty to see. I might have slipped into a slight daydream about working as a ranch hand in the Rockies for a minute there...
We made the return trip without incident and I was pleased. It's just a small challenge but gives me hope that Rodney can work as a calming influence at the same time as expanding his own tolerance for slightly different set-ups. I have led Cady from Rodney before but not without Phil there to step in so it was a good way to make myself ride and handle them with conviction.
Here are some pics - they are slightly poor but I had my hands full ;)
|"I think we have something in common..oh yes, the idiot who pays for all this."|
|Lead rein becomes neck strap|
|First one to finish wins a T-shirt|
|Mr Cool Dude Good Influence|
|"I'm soo pretty. And muddy. But mostly pretty."|
|"Goddamit, I think I just behaved myself!"|