Anyhow, that has nothing to do with the subject matter below, I just had to write the plenipotentiary word down somewhere so that I wouldn't forget.
I had quite an awesome day, waking up early and going out to do feeding chores before JJ woke up, coming in and starting a nice healthy breakfast which consisted of sausage links and plain scrambled eggs for JJ, scrambled eggs with onions, green peppers, and zucchini for myself, and a side of sweet potato. I have been on a quest to get as many fruits and vegetables into my system as possible, so if I eat something "normal", like a tuna sandwich, I see how many veggies I can load into it, such as tomato, black olives, salsa, and shredded zucchini. I also remembered halfway through cooking breakfast that last night while I was out running errands I had gotten a coffee from Starbucks, and hadn't finished it, so I had that to look forwards to as well, which made my day start off just rocking awesome!
After breakfast JJ and I went outside and I rode Gallery. I could smell the discharge on her back legs from being in heat, and she definitely acted like she was having a pmsing-sort of day. Normally she just does whatever you ask; if she doesn't know what you want, she figures it out, and happily obliges. Today, she was miffed at my legs being where they were asking her what I was asking her, I got a little more mareish reactions from her than I ever have before. It was more amusing than anything because she really didn't do anything wrong, she just was more particular about how the messages were being delivered. Which, I totally understand. And yet, that's exactly why I own all geldings!
After that came Starbucks, he was amazing. I always start with asking him to stretch and soften, because flexiblity for that chunk of a horse doesn't come naturally. He goes into a long trot slowly, and "long" trot for him is still a jog for any other horse. We got his head lowered and nose in softly and I could feel him beginning to unbind his back and shoulders, so that he could stride out more easily with fluency. Then after that was established we went to the sitting jog, still with his head low and nose in, and this morning he had the slowest, smoothest, softest jog I have ever gotten out of him, yet. It was pure heaven in western pleasure format. I am working with him to create a pleasure horse using classical dressage training, using classical principles, albeit with minor modifications so that he is not stilted, lame, or crippled-looking like pleasure horses often do without correct training. Then we attempted to get do some work at the canter, but his canter needs more work than I wanted to do this morning and we finished the lesson with more stretching and softening.
Ashlee came out today, it was her birthday. Eryn was there also, and tomorrow is her birthday. I gave Ashlee a new lead rope to match the halter she got Sammy for Christmas, and I gave Eryn a pair of Kerrits breeches. Then Magdalene got there and they all got their horses tacked up to ride. We had a great lesson, I threw out a few little obstacles in the area that the horses don't see every day with instructions to ride through them, over them, or beside them without stopping to allow the horses to look at them at all. Whatever gait they were at and whatever they were doing, they were to continue doing that same thing, just adding these little obstacles right there along with it. Of course, Magdalene and Drama aced the test, as I expected, he is so comfortable and secure with her he does pretty much anything she asks without a moment's hesitation. The other day I was talking to my neighbor, Eddie, and he mentioned, "The two of them just look so natural together these days." I agreed. It hasn't always been that way, but they have both worked hard.
Then Ashlee did the same thing with Sammy and he did just fine. She pushed herself today farther than she ever has in one lesson, where she allowed him to move out at his normal big trot instead of holding him back, she cantered a full lap around the arena and didn't panic even when he picked up some considerable speed, and she took him over a line of a crossrail and a small vertical. He got a little stiff and heavy on her but she stayed very natural and lighthearted about the whole thing and didn't knit-pick him to death like she sometimes has the tendency to do, which helped him to stay overall, lighter and happier. They are a good team.
And Eryn, she always looks so elegant astride Raz, with those long, to-die for legs of hers on his big, graceful body and fluid movement. And yet today, he was something else, I promise you that horse doesn't spook hardly a day in his life and today he did, not just once, but twice! On his first spook she fell, but she amazingly landed on her feet, we all cheered! (Because around here, falls are something similar to points, the more you have, the more amazing you are, and then to have a super cool fall like landing on your feet is just, like, groovy radical!) And the second time she stayed on. She is good at being able to work on whatever it is that he needs to be worked on, and she's good at reading his emotional state to figure out what he needs. I have never seen him calmer at a show than he has been with her these last two times, and I think that largely in part to her personality fitting so well with his, and that she can simply work with where he's at. She doesn't have this burning need to always push, always strive, always drive, she is able to just settle and work with the right-now, to be "in the moment". And he likes that, a lot.
Magdalene, on the other hand, is little miss go-getter, and Drama is perfect for that, because he is bored out of his brains with having to do repetitious work; he loves every challenge, every new excitement, he loves to push the envelope and strive for the impossible. And Magdalene is right there with him.
Ashlee wrote this today, and shared it with me:
And that is why I love what I do! It makes me happy. I loved watching the success on everybody today. Not every day is like this, but when it comes, I relish the moments and drink it in.
In other news, my butt hurts like nobody's business from all this riding I've been doing recently. JJ has had a cough and a runny nose the last few days, James is fighting something and I have had a headcold for the past couple of days too. So without further ado, I need to go give Big Bird his midnight snack and hang out the laundry on the line.