Monday, March 30, 2015

Altered Goals

A calm mare post-ride
Sundays are almost always riding days for me. It's been this way for a few years now. Riding is my "church". Time on the back of a horse is good for the soul, after all.

Last night, with dwindling daylight, I hoped to put in a brief 3 or 3.5 miles on Q on the short loop. No goals other than completion of that loop. However, as we crossed the creek (at a walk), Q spooked at a new log. (The creek is forever in flux. Poor upstream management has led to an always-changing downstream streambed. Flood events move the channel around and often introduce new logs and debris.) As we climbed up the bank on the far side, she saw a small scrap of 2x4 that had fallen off the tractor and spooked again (at a walk).

In the past, I'd have scolded her verbally and struck out on the trails all the same, determined to meet my daily goal. But not so much any more.

Taking stock of my little mare's mindset last evening, I altered our plans to instead pursue easy mileage by traveling around the perimeter of the back field - something we've been doing a lot of lately. Q's become quite comfortable with this activity. She really knows her job in that field and rarely spooks. I've had some outstanding trot and canter work from her - some of the best canter work ever, in fact.

And so, plans altered, we had a great little 3 mile jaunt full of praise for the mare.

She still spooked (at a walk) at the 2x4 scrap on the way back, but I'll excuse her for that. Silly horse.

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