I knew Sunday was the 1-5-0, so I wanted to reach my goal with Beautiful Girl. I started the year with a plan for her, and a helluva lot of determination, and it's fitting that she be THE. ONE.
Our day started out crappy--not at all like the 150th SHOULD have been. She was tuned into her herd and bucking, kicking, changing directions on the line. None of that bothered me, but when I'd tell her "whoa" she wouldn't listen, and that did bother me. I started to jump in front of her path like a wild-ass woman: half cougar--half wildling--half crazy. My reactions were not out of the normal playbook. They were primal. But you know, some days are just raw like that. We know when we're being challenged--and sometimes, you just gotta fight back and defend yourself.
When I went to throw a leg over, I actually told her, "This is your chance to get even and buck me off, Bee." (The day had that kind of feel to it.) Surprisingly, she didn't take me up on the offer, and I stayed planted safely in the saddle.
Afterward, I dismounted, attached the long lines to her halter, and drove her around the 20-odd acres next door and at our place. I want her to get used to walking out in the open. There was a freak out moment--when Cowboy came running. Beautiful bolted away. I kept hold of one line and got her turned back around. She was a little wound up in the lines, but very calm. I unwound her and we proceeded with our driving ride. (That is why it is best to drive in HALTER).
This year has been full of happiness and tragedy--
*I lost Old Red as I was flying to Hawaii. You can read about my "Terrible Landing in Paradise." I still miss him. Cowboy misses him even more. Since his death, Cowboy has been ostracized from the herd and has only me and, sometimes, the pony, to keep him company.
*We added two horses to our herd around the 1st of March. I hadn't intended to do that so fast, but a friend approached me with Little Joe and my son-in-law got the itch to become a horseman--thus adding Foxy. Both additions were a god-send: Foxy bonded hard with Cowgirl (who was grieving her horse husband) and Little Joe became the heart-horse for my granddaughter, Catherine.
*I introduced Leah to lots of new trails. She did pretty well. I don't think, however, she's going to be THE horse for me. She's a sweetheart, and I love her, but she doesn't have that umph that I'm looking for. I'll continue working with her, and riding her on trails, but when Cowboy is fully retired, I'll be wanting a true heart-horse. (I think part of her issues are just bad conformation. You can't do much about that. But she is a sweetheart, and she'll always have a home, and lots of love, with me. And, I'll always ride her because she needs to keep moving!)
*I rode Beautiful for the first time ever this year and, although, I am scared of getting bucked off, I truly believe that if I build a relationship on heeding/partnership/unity/at liberty/being chosen--I won't ever be. I am carefully building each step of our journey. Even after our little spat the other day, on day 151 she came right up to me when she saw me approaching with the halter. She has a heart for me, and I for her.
It remains to be seen if she'll be "the one" that I bond with for the trails, but she has been "the one" in my heart for ten years. She's my baby. I'm her mama. We will never part.
My goal for next year is to have more days in saddle or training, than not. That means, I will need at least to reach.....
It's too late to get there this year with December only having 25 days left. But, if I want to get to where I plan to be with BEE, I need all the days I can get: trailering her off the property, ponying her on the trails, training her away from home, taking lessons away from home, and generally building her confidence in herself and me. And, our partnership together.
A lot of things can get in the way of these plans--health problems (for her or me), work obligations, family and travel, but if I follow through and do what I say I'm going to do....
this time next year.....
I hope I can say.....
I have found my next trail riding heart horse.
Wish us luck!