Today was beautiful! 35 degrees and sunny! 4 mph winds. Gorgeous weather and the horses knew it too. Frolicking and racing eachother across the feild. I couldn’t help but get in there and play some driving games with them to get em going a little more. That was fun! Getting out there to play with them warms my heart when they accept me in the group like they did today to play WITH me not just around me. The “Thugs” of the pasture coming up to have me drive them off so they could then turn around to drive lessor in command horses. What a sight. Wished I could have done that AND worked my video camera at the same time.
Anyway, I went out today and just as I got there people were going on a trail, a LOT of people. I was just saddled up and getting in the indoor as they left and I figured I wanted some more alone time with Kiko instead. So we gave ourselves about 10 minutes for some ground work and three cinch up steps. I had his mind pretty easy today, he was ready to go. Diana and her Islandic were warming up in the indoor with us while Mary and Katie were getting ready. Diana decided to drag a noodle off a rope on her horse. Kiko was so interested in it! We were trotting after it and when they would stop, we would stop, then when they would get going, he would spook! LOL! Kiko’s spook isn’t much though, it’s funny and It hits a giggle button in me because I always do. He goes strait down then
Mary on her Tennesee walking horse and Diana on her Islandic were just getting started too…both gaited and since Kiko was raring to go this was a good set up, he’s got a hard time keeping up with them at the walk because he’s so much slower so we had to put more energy and focus on trot walk, trot stop transitions.
Mary and Katie (her TNW) had a break down at the end of our pastures yesterday right at the head of the trail so our first move was to go out there and hang out. This was great for Kiko because not only were we able to do something different, get to the head of the trail and GO BACK….which is unusual for us but he also was hanging out with two girls (the horses) that fed off of eachother and could go a little crazy when the Islandic gets worried. She’s just newly trained so this happens fairly often, her owner is really good at calming her down but she’s a pretty sensitive horse. Kiko usually feeds heavily off other horses reactions but we are getting better at trusting me more lately. He seems to think I am not as oblivious as he once thought I was, I think it was after I convinced him deer are not deer dressed wolves but in fact just deer….anyway, he didn’t draw his energy and emotions from the girls today at all! He was drawing from me! At one point we even lead because the two girls were a little hot and we did well in front slowing them down a bit.
The trail head is also where our obsticle course is. Not everything is set up but quite a few are still there and useable like the L walk, carwash and ditches, the platform bridge etc. So we played around with the obsticles. After riding a bit around the farm after that, they decided to go on a walk on the road. Kiko and I think road walking is boring and I think it can be dangerous when I can’t see the whole shoulder. I wouldn’t want to hurt him if we needed to ditch sideways quickly, a friends horse of mine had ligaments torn from a hidden drainage pipe and was lame for two years. So roads and ditches aren’t our forte.
We peeled off from the group and had some salad…well he ate from the miscallanous plants by the swamp we call the salad patch. I did not partake. Instead we did a short jaunt thru the woods so I could take some pictures of the old abandoned house…totally spooky looking. Kiko was on the look out for Tigers so he didn’t notice the spooky house..ah well, at least he kept the tigers away with his rapt attention.
We got back to the barn and played with the noodle he spooked at earlier. No big thing…guess it’s not a big deal when it chases him, he must just worry about OTHER horses getting chased by it. HE apperently can handle it. Then we wrapped up with friendly people at the fence he had to say “Hi” to.
I still couldn’t leave even after I put him back in pasture to play with his wildly hyper friends. It was a great day. I know tomorrow can always be different, especially with the relationship I have with Kiko, I try to make him feel as comfortable with showing me his emotions and what he wants as I possibly can because I know I can be dense. I will not squash that but it works for us. So the days he’s not into it…I know it, he shows me. I know some of the hardcore trainers would tell me not to let him act lazy or whatever but when he’s lazy I want to know. I’d rather have a horse that ‘talks’ to me then worry about a performance issue. I don’t need to impress anyone. We seem to be friends and partners and that impresses me. That’s most important in my eyes.
I appreciate every day with him, but days like this most of all. I found myself smiling to myself while driving home thinking about how proud I am of him and how hard he tries. How he meets me either at the gate or halfway in the pasture, how he will follow me without needing a halter on after we get out of the pasture to get saddled up and how much I enjoy having the halter go on as the last part of our saddling routine. I love how much he loves learning and experiancing new things, how playful he is and how loud he is when he expresses himself. How the hell did I end up with such a Gem of a horse? He is perfect. There is no other place this match could have been set up other then heaven.