Firstly, I hope this post finds everybody well with the current state of the world. Regardless of if you’re essential, stuck at home, or otherwise it’s not easy for anybody! I hope that you’re all being gentle on yourselves, and practicing self care to the best of your abilities.
As for us; both Zach and I are essential, him as a truck driver and the cows and myself with the horses. It’s been a whirlwind as we try to figure out this “new” normal. We had a rough patch, but seem to have figured everything out. I’m working more than I have in a long time, which means that Zach does the brunt of the childcare. Liam loves doing stuff around the farm with him, which makes it easier for everybody involved.
The good news is that I’ve mostly been able to balance keeping both horses going in the midst of the chaos. Abby was sidelined for three weeks for a splint that I think she popped out in the pasture, and Eli is…oh, Eli.
It’s definitely been a struggle for me to zip my boots up after a full day of being at the barn, but I guess that’s what defines how badly you want something. We’ve been on pretty limited turnout for the last few weeks because the mud is insane, so it makes me feel a lot better knowing that they are being productive members of society.
So where are they at? Abby has completely blown me away with how level headed she is, considering how level headed she ISN’T sometimes. Girl does not handle a reprimand well, and it’s hysterical. She’s the queen of squealing and stomping her foot like a child if she feels like she’s been unfairly talking. Even when I’m riding and she feels as though I’ve asked her to do something that is beneath her, there are large amounts of sass.
On the flip side of that, she’s probably one of the more level headed creatures that I’ve been on in a while. I pulled her out after three weeks of stall rest, hopped on for her 8th ride total, and off we went. Walk/trot/canter without so much as a crow hop. (I fully realize I’ve just screwed myself.) She’s a goofy, noodly, wobbly baby who has no clue about connection or contact or balance, but it goes when I press the gas, stops when I press the break, and makes a passable circle. Already better than the other one. After running it through it’s paces, I figured she felt quiet enough to try a walk up the driveway. I handwalk and lunge them out in the hay field pretty often, but you never realllly know how it’s going to translate until you’re in the moment. Eli still can’t handle all the space.
I figured, though, I had my neck strap and my bailing skills are on par so off we went in the wind and the rain. On my 4 year old. Alone. On our 8th ride. You know, because I really think things through.
Turns out she was an absolute super star. Stood in the parking lot while I got on, and walked all the way to the end of the hay field and back on the buckle with no drama. I was insanely proud of her!
She’s such an athletic, motivated little thing, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here with her. The first 4 or so months that I owned her, I wasn’t so sure about her and repeatedly told people that she was just a sales project because I had my hands full with Eli and she was little on the wild side. And she is a feisty little thing, but not in the way that I think is going to make her a struggle… just in the way that I’m really going to have to learn to sit her jump because we’re going regardless of if I’m ready.
She’s certainly not going to be for sale anytime soon (who can sell a 15h, chestnut, TB mare right now anyways? That’s how I justify two horses to Zach, anyways) as now I’m having too much fun with her. She’s proven to be a great confidence builder for me after dealing with Eli and his baggage for the last year and a half, and working with her gives me the much needed mental break from the other one. It’s taken a lot of pressure that I didn’t even know I had off of him, and that can’t be anything but good for anybody involved.