I keep my sanity by getting outside into nature and really practicing gratitude--especially on the hardest days. While the world has gone wonky, nature has remained the same, and I'm very thankful for that.
There have been good things about Covid. Because of the many extracuricullar cancellations, my grandkids have had more time to come over this summer and play with horses. They've also helped us with projects around the ranch. Covid has restricted our gatherings of friends, and concentrated our emotional/social time much more toward family--where it has always mostly been, but now even more so. Our adult kids are over more, too, and we've been playing more games. I suppose, it has simplified life.
We just finished up a wild and crazy week jam-packed with kids, a new grandbaby, our brothers and sisters and families, and yesterday, my granddaughters for a very busy horse playday.
The playday was planned around a practictioner for the Masterson Method coming here and working on Cowboy. It was his second session with Sarah Krahn. I have been watching the videos on his site and following along with his book, but it's always better to see it done in person. Some of what I've learned, I passed onto friends and family--including my grands. I wanted them to come watch Sarah in action, especially my oldest granddaughter, who is going to attend a weekend workshop this fall.
So, we did all of that--and it was wonderful to watch--Cowboy is very expressive with his releases--and then we spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the arena.
It was the first day back to work for Tumbleweed, who had fallen through the cracks because of all the family gatherings. I had hoped to ride him a week after he got home, but I didn't have a bridle and bit or saddle set up for him. I had to go shopping, and then test out a smaller, used saddle that would fit his short back.
I didn't know what to expect on the first day working him, but I tied him to the trailer and threw on the blanket and saddle. He flinched, but stood still. He continued to stand still while I dinked around with the cinches trying to get them fitted properly. That was impressive.
After he was saddled and walked around, I lunged him. He was quite bucky going left on the line, and then a dust devil hit us, and scared the bejeezers out of him. Let's just say, we had a lot to work through. Besides the dust devil, it seemed like his pissiness was due to the other horses being loped around him, and Foxy being led out of the arena. (They've rebonded.)
This video was towards the end.
Needless to say, there was no way I was going to ride him in that frame of mind. So, we finished up and he practiced standing tied while I threw the new saddle onto Cowboy to try it out. It wasn't bad. The seat feels hard, compared to mine, but the fenders hang nice and are thin enough to put your leg in a natural position around him. It is a Pioneer Big Horn, and it seems like it's in great shape. I'm going to take it to our local saddle shop tomorrow and have him inspect it. If my saddle guy likes it, I'll put some money into updating it for what I need.
(The gap between the fender and the seat skirt closed when I adjusted the fenders shorter, but the little bulge was still uncomfortable. I'm going to ask my saddle guy what he can do about that. And, it needs D rings, a new Latigo--and an overall leather & tree inspection. It doesn't appear to pinch him anywhere. It's a litle saddle, which is what he needed, but the seat fits me, and the stirrups are rigged to go pretty long, too--well past the length I need.)
This week is going to be super hot, so any work we do will have to be in the morning or evening. But I have to find a way to get out there everyday with him and get him back to where his trainer left off. Until the saddle is inspected, I won't ride him in it, but I'll let him pack it around while he gets his working brain back. I had been giving him a little grain, but I'm going to cut that out, too. The number one thing my trainer asked me to do was SEPARATE him from the herd A LOT. If I do nothing else all year, that is her number one request.
So, let the adventure begin. I will take it day by day, and never do anything that will be too risky. I will also make a date with my trainer up here. The sooner I start lessons with her and Tweed, the better.