Lesson is a day early this week. I have an appointment with someone at the house tomorrow and had to take my lesson a day early. That appointment is also why I have not been blogging. I have to make the main level of the house look presentable. I hate cleaning. I really do. So I have been setting aside time every day to clean. I clean an area and then read a chapter in book, my reward. Then clean the next area, and read. I actually get a lot more done that way. Anyway, I digress.
I drove Corrie single again. Corrie is on the larger size for a haflinger, she is on the wide side too. That wide load sign we have on the back of the cart really fits. Now I am not picking on Corrie, she is a good driving horse. I like her personality, albeit she is a bit marish, but like me Corrie enjoys her food a tad bit too much. R actually said he thought that overall Corrie would be a better match for me than Drew. She actually does ride too, Drew is not fond of driving. During my next riding lesson R said he would ride Corrie. I guess she is steady under saddle, but doesn't know a whole lot.
We went out "driving fences". I like to do practical thing when I am working with my horses. I don't know, maybe I am just more of a farmer at heart or what, but I love to haul logs, check the fences, and spread hay instead of just practice maneuvers. As we rode along the hot fence we looked for places it might be shorting out. R would hop out while Corrie and I waited. R mentioned that I seemed a lot more relaxed now.
I guess I have hit a good place. I was not really worried about Corrie running off, I would have freaked if she had, but at the same time I know I can handle it now. I have lost that feeling that at any second my horse is going to spook and run off. I am starting to really have confidence in both myself and my horse. Reason one to get a horse you can have confidence in.
When I first started taking lesson with R he said that he probably has a 100 run offs a day. At least I think he said 100, doesn't really matter. What he meant was how we prepare and react to the horse is more important that if the horse is ready to spook or not. He does not actually have that many run offs, just that he is prepared and stops the run off before it is even in the horses mind to do it. Stopping that run off might mean not even getting on that horse, or hitching that horse to today and working on ground manners. It might mean taking a tighter rein to reassure the horse that you are there as soon as his ears start flicking this way or that. With Corrie it means keeping her focused on her job as she tends to like to sight see. I understood the concept before, but now I am starting to really understand how I can apply that.
I thought back to the last time I saw Kinsey ridden and she spooked. The young lady didn't react fast enough and we had a runaway. At the time I blamed Kinsey. She didn't react the way I want my horse to. Now I my thinking is that I put too much blame on Kinsey. I am not going to hash out all my feelings about why that runaway occurred, just to say that there was more than just Kinsey to blame. Myself, as her owner, included. And is really could have been prevented. So I am prepared for her next spook now.
Kinsey leaves on Saturday. I will go over with her. See that she gets settled in and generally make a pest of myself. I think I have said before that truly believe horses really need some time to settle in to a new environement. Working with them too quickly just adds additional stress to the already stressful move. R was really pleased that I wanted her to have some time to get used to the place too, really makes me feel, again, that this is going to be a good experience for her. So she is going to just be boarded out there for the first week. Now that she knows me and is starting to trust me I am going to handle her and play with her a little during that week. There is a round pen I am really itching to get her in. Then R will work with her for two weeks and we will see how things go from there.
Oh course, I am hoping that he says she is great and I will be fine with her. So that is what we shooting for. But if she isn't, well it is better to know that now.