I got to spend some time with my girl today! It’s been a busy few weeks! I’ve only had opportunity for short visits at the paddock to give her a bucket and some loves. It’s a tricky balance to keep up the pace with work, Christmas preparations, company and trying to spend time with my horse while being cognizant of my injury. Today I had time to take her into the arena to work with her.

She came right to me when I arrived at her paddock and easily let me slip her halter on. We ventured out of the paddock, while I was still contemplating whether to take her down to the arena or not. I have my family home for Christmas and don’t have time to aggravate my injury this week, so I was weighing the pros and cons carefully. I had already set her bucket out so decided to let her have it while I made my decision. She was a bit antsy and not her usual amiable self. I was concerned that our absence from working was starting to show. I decided it was necessary to get her into the arena while I had the opportunity.

We headed toward the barn. She was prancing away and not paying attention. I had to keep her pace slow and careful with all the ice from the warmer weather. It gets a bit treacherous on our walk from the paddock to the barn. I chatted softly reminding her to pay attention as we slowly made our way down the lane.

We arrived without incident. With all the prancing on the way in, I took her right into the arena to work off some of the fancy pants attitude. I walked her around on her lead working on transitions and circling. It took her about twenty minutes to focus and start paying attention. We heard Adar, a lovely thoroughbred, being brought in. It sounded like he had a bit of a spring in his step today too. Perhaps the change in the weather had everyone feeling a bit fresh today. A warm wind was blowing in and temperatures were going to go above freezing overnight. They may be feeling a little premature spring fever. Lexi whinnied hello to her buddy through the walls and pranced a bit more as we heard his reply.

We had the arena to ourselves at the moment. It was a great opportunity to lunge her. She’s so good on the lunge. We started off to the left, her preferred direction. Walk, trot back to walk. We worked about five to ten minutes each direction. She was very responsive. On completion I told her she was a good girl and gave her a little treat. I’m getting better at it, but thankfully she is great so she carries me a little while I improve. I’m looking forward to spending more time with her and getting back in the saddle. The ground work has been really good though. I’ve decided that I’m going to incorporate regular ground work into our routine once I’m riding again. I find it strengthens our communication and bond. It’s helped me to learn more about her and I believe likewise for her.

I walked her around on her lead for a few more minutes just to hang out and rub her neck. We were just heading out when Adar entered the arena for his session. We said a quick hello and headed back. Our trip back up the lane was far more relaxed as she slowed her pace, pranced far less and paid attention on the ice. It doesn’t take much to get her back in the groove. She really does do well for such a young horse.

Photo Credit to Alanna Leach

I turned her out with her paddock mate Aspen. I gave her one last rub, lingering for a moment longer. I always find it hard to leave, and catch myself lingering longer and longer, finally forced by the cold winter air to make my way to my car to warm my frozen fingers. I enjoy just being there with them and watching their movements and interactions. Just being in their presence brings me joy.

4 thoughts on “Connecting Through Groundwork

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