K is away for a couple of weeks for a family Christmas vacation, so Little Love and I are on our own for a while. Please bear with me as I also utilize the blog to keep her up to date on what is going on at the barn. Hopefully I don't bore everyone too much with all the mundane details! :-)
Today was another rainy one, but luckily as I pulled up to the barn there was a break in the precipitation. After gathering all the grooming equipment and boots, I took Lilo out of her stall. The horses had been separated into two smaller paddocks last week, and yesterday they had been reunited in the big paddock. They were happy to be together again, but some re-assessing and re-organization of the herd seemed necessary to them with a little kicking involved. We were afraid Lilo had been on the receiving end of one of these kicks, so I was happy to see that there were no cuts on her legs and she seemed totally sound.
We did a one-hour semi-power walk. Little Love was a bit reluctant to leave the barn (the other horses were still in their stalls at this point, which probably contributed to this hesitation), but once we got going she offered her nice big walking stride. I love to walk when her when she is ready to go like this. At one point, we were coming to the top of a small rise which ends at a crossroad just as a bicycle zoomed by in front of us. We caught just a glimpse of the rider's helmet and the top of the bike. As Little Love raised her head high and spread her eyes wide, I was again struck by the many things we take for granted, as humans, that horses should just accept. But she probably caught such a quick glance of this that she had no idea what it was, and judging from the way it glided by, she probably couldn't fit it into any of her mental boxes of safe encounters. Being a flight animal, why shouldn't she react quickly and strongly? Luckily, her trust in me has grown enough to overcome a short, quiet encounter like this, and she followed me to continue on our way.
At the end of our walk, I decided to take her into the small gravel parking lot to give her the opportunity to move a little more if she wanted. I asked for trot, and she gave me some. But because I hadn't taken a longer lunge line with me, she got irritated at me being too close to her (this is a pet peeve of hers). So we did a little trot, played a little "chase the human" at trot to give her the chance for some more movement, and then walked on home.
After some final grooming and stretching, Little Love was ready to go back into the herd and hang out with her friends. It is such a wonderful feeling not to put a horse back into a stall or a postage stamp-sized paddock to stand around by itself all day! :-)