I may have a post with this title already, because it's true. I'm in heaven.
When I woke up from the anesthesia, I heard the nurse talking about my happy place, and it was like--yep, that makes total sense. Why? Because I am one of the lucky people who has heaven on earth right here.
*I have horses, and when I work with my horses, endorphins are flooding my brain. Heaven.
*I'm married to my prince charming, and when I'm in his presence, endorphins are flooding my brain. Heaven.
*I have the sweetest children AND grandchildren, and when I think of them, my eyes will start to tear up and endorphins wash over my brain. Heaven.
*I'm grateful for all the above and much more, and when I think of those blessings.....refer to the above.
I want to add something to my gratitude list.
Yesterday, my daughter came over to ride with me. We took our horses to the next door barn: Shiloh took Cowgirl, and I took Beautiful Girl.
Well, drum roll.....
Bee did so good at the ground driving--past the scary stuff--the scary sounds....I decided to try riding her....
And, we rode solo AWAY FROM HOME for the first time.....
And, it went great!
Unfortunately, there were not photos of yesterday's ride, but I included some from our last ride at home.
The best thing about our ride at the barn was that she was so responsive to being bent around. I credit that to the ground driving. It has become so habitual for her now, she doesn't even think to fight it. And, if I can keep her turned around and soft in the bit, there is MUCH LESS chance of bucking.
I had that epiphany about ground driving a couple of months ago, and I cannot stress enough how helpful it is in training a green horse!! Rebecca's advice to start in halter, rather than bit, was genius. In fact, it works so well, I'm going to take Leah through the ground driving routine, too. I think it can only help to take a couple steps back and work on our communication through reins and bit.
Bee and I are definitely on the right path. Last week, I took her to the next door barn before my surgery, and I drove her from the ground, but when I went to ride her, she started backing up nervously. I did some basic bends and ended on a positive note without asking her to move out. After that day, I was really discouraged and thinking we'd never get there. But we did. Let that be a lesson to self. Darkest before the dawn.
Here is my daughter riding Cowgirl.
Later yesterday, I rode Leah, and we continued to work on the dance of opening gates. I have them all stand ground tied in front of the Cowgirl Cave as I saddle and unsaddle. Leah acts like she would love to jump in and live in the cave. I don't blame her--it's warm and cozy in there.