14 January 2011

Out and About

I wasn't sure what I was going to do today. So often I have specific training goals; however, today was different. While I could have worked on a myriad of things, Carli informed me how things were going to be.

I like that about her. She's very definitive. She knows what she wants and achieves that goal with the utmost consideration for everyone. So when I walked into the pasture with one halter, she ambled over and we spent some time together. She needed me to pay special attention to her lower neck and chest, since a Queen would never dream of scratching herself on a tree. No, not on a fence post either! Scratching was my job and I worked her over good.

She leaned back to indicate that I had met with all of her expectations. Satisfied, I thought she would continue doing what horsey Queens do. Instead, she stuck around. When I went to eyeball Ziggy's locale, I was delighted to see that he'd wandered over to stand in line. I had to laugh. He knew the halter was for him. You see, I had promised him a ride yesterday, but chores got in the way, so he was expecting some action today. He wasn't shy about showing me where he itched and once I met those needs, I haltered him up and started back to the barn.

The Queen came along, too. Hummm, I thought. This is looking interesting.

I saddled the Zigster and quickly double checked his mental state before mounting. I haltered Carli and off we went down the driveway.

I don't know about you, but it would drive me crazy if I spent all of my time in one place. I mean, there's only so many areas one can explore, and even a 10 acre field has it's limitations. I think Carli was feeling that way today. She wanted to tag along to see what was happening out and about.

Ziggy has done his fair share of helping me teach many a horse how to pony. And Carli, despite all of her Queen-ness, once was a racehorse, so she has an excellent idea of what it means to trot quietly beside a lead horse. I didn't have much to do so I made it my business to make the ride as interesting as possible. Considering my options, I headed over to the fence-running, snarling-dogs neighbor. Those two tended to cause some excitement, although not for an ex-racer and working cow pony. Both horses politely ignored the silly yappy doberman and his howling/teeth showing Heinz 57 sidekick. Fine! Calculating my next move, I wondered if the Dressage Queen would be practicing her endless perfect circles. Good question! We headed over there to find out.

That decision gave us the opportunity to trot beside a long stretch of road. The two horses vied for the lead, while I stayed out of the argument. While trotting along, Ziggy would remind Carli to stay behind his right shoulder by nipping the air in front of her face. I found this highly amusing, since she is the lead horse in my pasture. At any other time, he wouldn't dare show that much authority over her. I watched her reaction closely. She never retaliated. In each instance, she slowed down and tucked herself in behind my knee, which was where she belonged. She knew it and he knew it, too. Unfortunately, Carli couldn't stay tucked in for very long. It was just too tempting to move right out and try to gain that lead again. What a hoot! They battled it out all the way down to the dressage arena, never once breaking out of the trot.

There was nothing going on, but the DQ horses came barreling down to the fence line to say hello. Watching them come, I gently shortened my right rein in case Zig wanted to have a say in their arrival. I needn't have worried. Even when they sprayed us with loose sand as they skid to a halt, my horses just kept trotting along. So what next? I had to come up with something...

The llamas were around the corner. We could go and see them. Usually they didn't do much, but the mare hadn't seen them in awhile. Maybe that would be interesting. Yep, they were over there, all right - on their side of the fence, basically being llamas, which equates to doing nothing. Carli didn't even look at them. This was shaping up to be a pretty boring ride.

And it was. Not that I'm complaining. Still, it was great getting the mare out and about and she appreciated it, too!

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