The veritable blizzard we experienced this morning aside, we had a great week!
Spring on the Canadian prairies. Winter in the morning, spring in the evening. The lovely Adar grazing after the storm. Photo credit Mackenzie Xavier.
The arena was open on Friday night so I was able to bring Lexi in for a ride. It was our first solo ride without my coach since we moved into Timberwind. We had such a good ride working at a walk and trot. It was quiet in the barn and Lexi seemed very relaxed. We took our time brushing her and hanging out before and after our ride. She was relaxed and responsive. I was so happy it went so well. One more step forward!
Saturday we had our first liberty groundwork lesson booked. The arena was booked so we had planned to have it outside. The weather was cool with a brutal wind that felt like it was blowing right off of a glacier. I had concerns about how much we would accomplish with that wind as Lexi gets quite distracted and a bit spooky in the wind. I checked with Jackie and she said we were still on, so I bundled up and headed down.
As predicted, Lexi was a bit full of it with the wind, but it actually provided a great opportunity for me to learn how to handle her when she was not in a calm state. We worked with her for about an hour. Her paddock mate kept things interesting as she performed in her paddock across the fence from where we were working. Sugar was pretty revved up with the wind and pending storm blowing in. Her antics kept Lexi on her toes and quite frisky. Jackie showed me how to keep Lexi’s focus and respect my space. It was a very productive session. I learned a lot and am now more confident that I have resources I need to better control the situation when she’s a bit worked up.
After our lesson we took her into the barn for her massage treatment. She’s been a bit stiff and showing reluctance when cantering to the right. I booked a few sessions with Jackie to see if we can sort her out. We found improvement even after one session. Lexi was more relaxed this time and seemed to really enjoy the massage. I think she knew it would feel pretty good.
The arena was super busy with dogs doing agility that day, so again it was a good opportunity for me to take Lexi into the barn, through the busy parking lot with cars coming and going and dogs barking and people bustling about while I had an experienced handler to help me with her. She did awesome. It was another first conquered for us!
Sunday the weather was much better. I was looking forward to a few hours with Lexi to work on some of what we’d learned the day before. The indoor arena was still booked but we were able to utilize the outdoor arena right next to her paddock. The sun was poking out and there was no wind today. Lexi was calm and focused as we worked through the exercises we had learned the day before. She really gives me all her try whether we are riding or doing groundwork. It’s wonderful getting to know her and have her getting to know me. It was a lovely afternoon.
Monday we had her scheduled farrier after work. I went down after work to get her into the barn in time for her appointment. It was super busy with dog classes and I was grateful I’d had experience taking her in through the busy atmosphere with Jackie’s help on Saturday. I walked her around in the grass arena next to the barn until our farrier arrived. I didn’t want her to have to wait and get anxious in the barn with all the action going on. I took her in when he arrived and she did really well. She got a bit anxious as he was nearly done, but in her defence there was a lot of action in there that she hasn’t had opportunity to get used to yet. But we’re getting there!
The snow stopped and the sun poked out tonight. I popped down to drop off my barn fees and have a little visit. Lexi and Sugar were having their supper when I arrived. She always greets me at the gate now. She poked her head over for a rub. She’s getting so friendly with me, and I’m always so happy to see her. I rubbed her neck and her withers as she munched on her hay. She would occasionally lift her head to acknowledge the Luvs I bestowed on her. I lingered there with her enjoying the peace. Only your horse will let you give them your heart and they will give you theirs in return. She is truly a gift!