Wednesday was the last time my pony was ridden by a trainer. So it's just been me for a few days. I rode on Friday and then she had Saturday off and then I rode again today. She was a little testy, so we'll just take it one day at a time. If I need to, I have a lovely catch rider willing to remind Tessa of her manners for only $15 a ride. I'm hoping I won't need to take her up on it, but it's nice to have that option.
We hit a huge landmark today. We cantered all the way around the arena. It's not that we have trouble keeping cantering (though we do, but we've had some good days and bad days), it's more that we cantered the entire arena, on the wall. On. The. Wall. It wasn't pretty when we cantered past the goat corner. The pony contorted herself so that she could keep cantering, but shove her shoulder away from the goat and look at that corner for as long as possible. Just in case. But she kept cantering. And I kept riding. We had only been riding for about 15 minutes or so but I quit. Right there. Long rein. Lots of pats and we're done. I want to make sure that Tessa knows how proud I am of her (and of me!) and that not every session is a ride into the ground discipline session.
By far, the funniest part of the day, was when I first arrived. Our paddocks are divided into two sections. One is the 'winter' section that they close down for the winter. In Washington state where it rains all the time, you HAVE to rotate pastures and close them for a few months or you just get mud, mud, mud, dirt, mud , mud, mud. So we sacrifice the front and it turns to gross mud. But it's now June and the back is grass! Glorious, green, grass. So when I arrived, they had opened part of the taped hot wire and allowed the ponies through to the grass.
Tessa's boyfriend, Prime was happily munching away. Tessa was standing on the other side of the fence in the mud, looking disappointed. I called her and she trotted up to me, looking worried. She was a little amped when I brought her out. After our ride, I turned her back out. She paced the taped fence line, again looking worried. She tossed her head and trotted a few steps. She looked longingly at the grass on the other side.
Oh! I laughed when I realized what had happened. Tessa either has poor eye sight or just doesn't want to mess with the fence because she would not go through the part that was open. I walked through and called her. She stepped forward and then gave me the look that said This Lady Is Nuts. I had a few carrot bits in my pocket and went over and fed her one. Mmmmmm...carrots. She came forward. Step by step, I bribed her through. The last step, she walked forward and ate a carrot and was halfway through chewing it when she happened to glance down and see that she was now standing in grass. She almost spit the carrot out trying to get to that grass! Her head went down and no amount of carrots brought it back up again. She ate like a starving pony.
The worrywart part of me wants to get her eyes checked to make sure she's not having a hard time seeing. Since it was just a tape fence and horses see in shadows, I can see how this would prevent her from seeing that it was open. The other part of me thinks it's adorable and *so* like her to not want to break the boundary once it's been firmly set. This bodes well for training and is a particularly nice feature to have in a horse, especially if we ever go anywhere. Either way, she was much happier once she was out on grass and very quickly ate her way over to her boyfriend. Where they promptly got into a little tizzy and Tessa kicked out at him and huffed off. Who needs boyfriends when you've got chocolate?.....errrr., I mean grass. :)