Friday, February 1, 2013

Ribbons and a Hump Day

Recently, in the middle of a cold snap, Darling and I decided to haul south to a horse show.  We left from our place in the dark, with the temperature a frigid 21 degrees.  We drove toward down and watched as the number got smaller, and smaller, until we were at the Cowboy's place, and it was a mere 17 degrees.

Shivering and shaking, we rushed through barn chores, then loaded up Doxee and Oz and continued south toward the horse show. The temp was now only 14 degrees.  Brrrr!!!

Oz and I entered three classes; Stock Type Halter and two showmanship classes.  With the weather as chilly as it was, there weren't a lot of people, but you know what?

My goofy mustang gelding still beat out a couple AQHA and APHA horses in halter!

Meanwhile, Miss Flirt has been making strides.  She's quite content to wear her heavy blanket, and she doesn't fuss a bit when I hoist the entire thing over her head and slide it on, rather than unbuckling the front.  She's an easy catch out in the pasture, too, as you can see here when I had nearly 1000 lbs of horseflesh galloping toward me. 

But what really, really made my day was when I hauled her to the riding club today.  Typically there's not a lot of action there on a weekday, but when I pulled in I found four horses in the arena.  This was just the second time Flirt had been there, and I really wasn't sure about her reaction to seeing the other horses.  Would she be laid back and easy going?  Or would her blood be pumping with excitement?  Would she walk nicely alongside me?  Or was I going to have a prancing, dancing maniac at my side?

With the rope in one hand, I led Flirt from the trailer to the arena and stepped from the pavement onto the dirt.  As Flirt stepped inside the building with me, going from light to dark, she suddenly gave a start!  She went from relaxed demeanor to full alert, noticing that she was not alone.  But a pat on the neck was all she needed to turn her attention back to me.  We walked the rest of the way into the building, through the gate, past the horses and to the round pen in the corner.

Flirt watched with interest as the other horses came and went.  Most everyone was finished, so there was just one rider left, and Flirt was most concerned with him.  But it wasn't much, really, just head up and stopping to stare.  

It wasn't long before Flirt was working as though it was just she and I in that arena.  And when the others left us alone?  No silly shenanigans.  I was very pleased.

But something did happen, and I don't know, really, when or how or what or where.  I left the arena with a different horse, though.  One who thought twice about loading (she's never refused before), but learned that sometimes we do what we don't want to.  There was more trust, more bond, more friendship than there had been before.

We'd tackled something together today.  It was the first time I'd entered the trailer with her tied in it.  She also stood tied at the rail inside the arena after everyone left.  We worked in a crowd of horses, then alone.  It was different.  Today was different, and in a very good way.  Today was hump day.


Allenspark Lodge said...

" Today was hump day."

Best. Day. Ever.


Snipe said...

That is one nice-looking gelding.

Anonymous said...

Very good all around - it's nice when things come together like that.

Anonymous said...

Your goofy mustang is a very nice looking horse.

Shirley said...

Oz is a champ- and it's nice that the judges weren't biased and rewarded him for the very nicely put together horse that he is.
When I'm working with a young horse, I expect them to startle at new things, and I also expect them to come back to me because of the foundation we have built together- just the way your Flirt did. Good job Tracey!

AmberRose- Girl With a Dream said...

Love the pictures, looking good :D It's great when new things go well :D