|Does this girl look that upset?|
And just to prove to Rachel that she is not the only one I have picked on, today we just returned from visiting a friend out on the plains of Colorado, with the horses. I met this friend eight years ago at a Mark Rashid clinic; she was the same age then that I am now. We hit it off right from the start, maybe because we were the two oldest ones there - by quite a ways! At the time, I remember marveling how wonderful it was to see someone that gung ho about striving to better her horsemanship - and I thought she was much closer to my age! Now that I am that age, I don't marvel at it anymore; I just consider it normal activity.
Six years ago, we invited C. to come ride with us when we brought the horses home from winter pasture. She met us at the lodge to spend the night, arriving shortly before we did. She was surprised to see all three horses 'stuffed' into a two horse trailer. We unloaded them into their corral, then had a fun evening together. We awoke to a blustery, windy day determined to ride. To make matters worse, I put her on Washoe, a four year old at the time - still sort of green, but she was an experienced rider. Right? I found out later, I was the one determined to ride, as she does NOT like to ride in wind. She went along so as not to disappoint me. To make matters worse, we find out she is afraid of heights. Duh! We have just made her ride up a cliff face ... and back down it! She blanched when she found out how old Washoe was, er, wasn't.
Today, I had to marvel at her again. She has a young-er horse that she desperately wants to ride. She purchased him four years ago, at the age of four. He had only had four rides on him at that time (a lot of fours here) and she saw lots of holes in his ground work, so she started working on that. Since then, she has had a lot of personal misfortunes - and with her other horses - and has not been able to ride. Now she is determined to get back to riding, so we hauled our horses down to see if we could be of any help. Bill did get on her horse bareback, to make sure he wasn't going to buck or bolt. She's done a great job with him and he took it in stride.
Bill also threw her saddle on him a few times, which he also took in stride. Then she climbed aboard Washoe, bareback, to 'get the feel of it again'. It's been closer to 20 years since she has ridden bareback, but it would be so much easier for her to ride that way, than throwing a 40# saddle on a tall horse. She now knows what steps to work on with the horse, and what conditioning she needs to make it enjoyable. That's a lot of first steps for them today - and they did a great job.
Oh, and Rachel, we got some great pictures and movies with the new camera, plus we found out C. is sending us some waterproof camera covers. Bill will never live down losing my camera in the creek!
Thanks so much,