Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 11

Two things happened today that were important.

First, Little Love and I left the property together (but without Becky and Col) and rode/walked outside for an hour.  This was huge, especially because I had spent half the previous night wondering if Little Love would actually leave Col in the barn and walk out the gate with me.  Even as we were leaving and Little Love sort of stopped for a moment, I thought; "here we go, she is not going to leave with me."  I was so wrong.  Little Love stood still for a while, sniffed the air and followed me through the electric gate.  Given, she was super alert and tense in the beginning (and it didn't help that Col was screaming for her in the barn), but once we got out into the fields and she had a good trot, she was fine.  And so was I. 
Lesson learned today: 
Just because something has happened in the past, it doesn't mean it's going to happen again.   I guess I'm a tad hardheaded, but it seems like this lesson keeps repeating itself over and over again.  I really need to stop living in the past and live in the moment.  Maybe Little Love used to stop and not leave the barn or rear and turn back or freak out and what not.  But it doesn't mean she will do it again.  And even if she did, it doesn't mean she will do it every single time. 

Secondly, Little Love's old owner came for a visit.  I have to admit, I wasn't exactly looking forward to it, because I knew she wouldn't approve of everything I was doing with her.  And perhaps she didn't, but about five minutes into the visit, I realized it didn't matter.  Little Love is my horse now, and I call the shots.  So, when her old owner asked me if she could perhaps ride her later in the spring in a dressage lesson with me, I said no.  Because, I don't think I will ever let anyone else ride her again and especially not dressage (which she has particularly bad memories of).  In fact, I don't even know how long I will ride her myself.  Today on the trailride, I came off after 15 minutes and we walked the rest of the hour long loop.  I prefer walking with her instead of sitting on her.  It's only when she is really excited and nervous that I can't keep up with her and it gets a bit sketchy.  But hey, we are working on it!


  1. I love that you got off and then walked her, just because you could. Wonderful.

  2. I'd say Little Love is already showing signs of increased confidence in her new environment...and in you. Beautiful :-)
    I'm glad you told Little Love's owner no to riding her. While it may have been difficult to have her visit I'm sure it was a great feeling to be able to do what is truly best for the horse....and to preserve the relationship that you are both working on.
    A few things I don't understand ....and might have questioned with her former owner-
    - If she still wanted to ride Little Love, then why did she sell her? 2- Even if you were to allow her to have a lesson, what purpose would that serve? Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only real reason for her to take a lesson on a horse that isn't her own, would be to improve her skills as a would seem to me that there is no point in working on the "training" of a horse not your own (unless of course, she still intended to ride Little Love regularly...which again....why did she sell her then)?. I would simply tell her if she wants to work on her own riding, she can do that on a lesson/school horse until she aquires another horse of her own.
    I would seriously be curious as to her answers to these questions -- Did she not say to you she was done with riding Little Love?

  3. Wow, things are really settling in for the both of you now. I love reading your day to day accounts; it reads like a story and I don't want it to stop! I think it was really perfect you said "no" to Little Love's previous owner. Little Love is your charge now, you can protect her from the damaging effects of her dressage traumas, or anything else you BOTH feel is uncomfortable or just plain wrong. Kudos to you, Katariina for setting this very powerful boundary. You have a voice now where Little Love is concerned. Continued blessings to you both!

  4. Carol, you have a right to be confused, that's exactly how I feel about Little Love's old owner... she wants something, then she doesn't want it, then she wants it again. I know, it makes NO SENSE as she is afraid of riding Little Love. She seems to forget that when she's on the ground. She went on and on about how she has never had a teacher like me and that she will miss our lessons. Then, she asked if we could still do them - with Little Love. She just wants to improve her riding skills. Well, she'll have to do that with another horse. I told her to get back to me when she found one to ride :-) And the "funny" part was that right before this we had visited Lilo in the pasture and the horse did a little spook while we were there; she sort of ran off a bit but then came back (on purpose? I know horses don't do that, but still, she had never spooked like that before and I'm not even sure why she spooked). This "spook" freaked her old owner out and she said "That's exactly why I don't want to ride her anymore, she's so unpredictable". Then, 15 minutes later she asks me if we could still do lessons on Little Love. Talk about unpredictable! (she's unpredictable to the point of being predictable actually) Makes no sense, whatsoever.

    And Shelby, love your encouragement, you are like my one man cheerleading team! I'm blessed to have you in my life :-)