Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Finding My Balance

The weather seems to have changed again and the evening was really warm (I was in a t-shirt). This is a welcome change from the fall weather we were experiencing a few days ago. Monday all the horses seemed extra alert and energetic, and it reminded me of the times in Switzerland when snow covered the mountain tops for the first time in the fall; even if the horses didn't live in the mountains, they could "smell" the snow. They would do "Arab impersonations" in their individual paddocks with their tails straight up in the air and their nostrils like dinner plates. Riding was nearly impossible for two or three days, at least in Little Love's case.

Despite being "on the edge" a bit on Monday, Little Love managed to hold herself together while I trimmed her hooves in the barn. Even though all the other horses were outside in the paddock, she stood still and allowed me to pick up her feet and do my thing. I believe she has never cooperated with trimming this well, it was amazing. It really took everything she had to stay still because after the trim, she literally ran out of the barn and pranced around like the Arab I was talking about earlier. The tarps in the neighbor's yard, which she hadn't even looked at the day before, were suddenly transformed into horse eating monsters. When I let her loose in our makeshift arena, she trotted around nervously and even tried a few bucks! My dog Chai often behaves the same way when I clip her nails; she holds perfectly still for the procedure, but afterwards will run around like a maniac. The built up steam has to go somewhere, I suppose!

Tonight Little Love and I joined Metku and her owner on a trail "ride" (Metku's owner rode, I walked). It was the first time Metku's owner rode outside in a bitless bridle (LG bridle) so she seemed a bit nervous. Little Love on the other hand was very, very calm. In fact, she was walking so slowly in the beginning that I thought she would fall asleep. Her strategy worked though, as her presence seemed to calm both Metku and her owner significantly. Soon we were all creeping down the road together :-)

We walked towards the lake and then turned around to come back. I suggested a short trot and Metku's owner agreed. Little Love and I ran ahead and all was well until Metku decided to pass us. Her owner did nothing to stop her. I think the lady has never tried running next to a big horse at the trot, because if she had, she wouldn't have dreamed of passing me. Or she has infinite trust in my ability to keep up with a 16.2 hh horse... Little Love immediately upped her pace and soon we were flying down the road. Good thing I practice sprinting on my own sometimes! I finally asked Little Love to slow down, because I couldn't keep up with her and was afraid I would fall behind completely (my rope is only so long!). She did slow down, but obviously wanted to run after Metku, too. I was about to call out to Metku's owner but luckily she slowed down on her own at that moment... She was so excited about the trot (her first trot in a bitless ever apparently) that I didn't have the heart to tell her to never pass me like that. Next time we trot together, I will be sure to talk about this BEFORE we pick up the trot :-) LOL

As the sun was setting behind the trees, all four of us came back to the barn happy and relaxed. I have been quite stressed out this week, but again my time tonight with Little Love really helped bring life back into perspective. The next two weeks will be quite hectic as we are finalizing our move (i.e. finally moving into our house), but it's good to know that my horse will always help me find my balance if I loose it. I went home in a completely different state of mind than when I left it to go to the barn. I think at moments like these even my husband thanks his lucky stars for Little Love!


  1. Sounds like a fun little adventure ;-)
    I have trotted alongside Grif alone, but never with other horses/riders present. When we do have company on our walks, the humans are too busy telling me how awkward it is that they're riding and I'm walking. I just sort of laugh because _ LOVE walking with my boy on trails. I always have. The first winter we spent together, I did more walking with Grif then anything else. Griffin had not yet had a rider on his back and I found the walking to be highly beneficial in helping us bond (before I backed him) and I was able to help him build (some) confidence. He was a nervous, frightened boy back then....

    Well- I'm rambling on.....I don't have ANY bad memories of time spent with Grif -- just memories of growth & learning.

    I'm glad that you let Metku's owner enjoy the moment with her horse and her 1st trot bitless. It's great to hear that she rides without a bit ( I have heard of the LG bridle, but never tried it). If there is one thing I do believe it's possible to change in my lifetime -- it's to get majority acceptance of bitless bridles. It will take time of course, but I do think it IS possible that it will one day become the norm.

    I'm sure she will agree not to pass you next time you are out as I suspect it was just a matter of not thinking :)

  2. Amen to that, I am with you Carol with the bitless "agenda". I, too, believe/hope the world will shift enough in the next 40 years that bitless will become the norm rather than the exception. Let's manifest for that!