I haven't been able to do much at all lately due to work and the weather. This winter in the Riverina area is the wettest we have had in 10 years. This is great news for farmers and I am happy too but I would like the rain to go away even if it is just for 2 - 3 weeks. Just let the ground dry out, let my shelter dry out so I can put a base down so the ponies can actually use it!!!!! Saturday after work I was able lunge Sam before the rain started. He let off a bit of steam with some bucking and carrying on but he still listened enough to change gaits.
A Bad Day
Sunday I was able to have a ride but not until late - I didn't mount until about 4.45pm. Due to the amount of rain we have had even the reserve was going to be slippery so I decided to head down the road. Sam was forward and eager to do something. He walked out with a big swinging stride even though we went down a road he has never been down before. At the bottom of the hill I asked him to trot. No problem he tells me. He was happy to let me set the pace, I could really feel him pushing from behind. Ears pricked, eyes I am sure where bright and a spring in his step. Our road is quiet but people drive along at a high speed so I only went as far as a blind corner then I asked him to turn back the way we had come. Poor Sam was not happy with this decision. He walked so slowly and kept trying to turn around - didn't I feel terrible so on the way home we had gone past a lane. I took him up there about 200m but I could see sheep ahead and Sam just does not do sheep. It was getting late and the sun sets around 5.45pm at the moment so I decided to turn around again and head for home. Once again Sam was not happy with this decision. I arrived home and he walked straight past the front gate. I thought how lucky am I to have a horse that is willing to get out there and explore!
You are probably wondering why on earth have I classed this as a bad day? You know when you have those days when nothing is easy? I had had one of those days. When I went to unsaddle Sam he kept moving into me. Poor Sam then felt the bad mood in me come out. We did some ground work on personal space, giving to pressure and keeping the head down when rugging. I should have walked away as I was asking for things strongly but still rewarding quickly but I did feel for him. It certainly tuned him up though he was moving off pressure quickly and lightly and kept out of my personal space. I did give him a few handful of pellets when we were done because I felt bad.
Monday - today was a beautiful day. Warm, sun shining but still didn't go as planned!!!! The didn't stop ringing and people wanted to talk for ages! I wanted to ride around midday but didn't get out there until 2.45. Even though it was beautiful weather the ground was still very soft and slippery so I planned that we would 'go around the block' I guess it is about 3-4km. Out our front gate turn left, down the road and turn left onto the lane. About 400m up the lane are a mob of sheep. Now Sam has never really liked sheep. He stopped and really had a good look. I could feel his little heart pounding through my seat. At one point he even tried to turn back around. I dismounted to walk him past. I find he seems to be able to cope with scary things a little better if I am beside him. Sometimes he likes to be touching me and other times he is happy to just have me beside him. He watched to the sheep as we passed. We walked up past a house and past some yards. I noticed something up ahead so decided to stay unmounted and all of a sudden there was a loud honking behind us, poor Sam whirled around (but stayed out of my personal space so maybe yesterdays training did do some good) and we watched this massive goose walk away honking. That was interesting. Sam would not walk away until the goose was out of sight. I little further up the lane we met a mum and her two children. The kids had a pat of Sam and I decided to remount.
Up around the corner we came across another mob of sheep behind some trees. Sam stood and watched. I waited not wanting to push him on before he was ready. The sheep ran off after a bit and Sam happily watched them and then was happy to keep going. The lane way became a little dense with trees and I could feel Sam getting a little worried but he kept going. We had a lot of stopping but he is happy to keep going once you give him a moment. Further along we came across another house with a lot of ponies running around. Sam was good with the ponies running around but then there was a large shed and a lot of noise coming from it. He was having trouble with this one as well so I dismounted and walked him past. A dog was barking at us as well but we couldn't see it, I was concerned it would race around the side of the shed but we were in luck. The end of the lane way was just there.
Turn left onto Collingullie Road. Bitumen road that quite a few large semi trailers use. I mounted and we walked up the middle of the road. You can see a fair distance in front and behind so I felt safe that I would have more than enough time to move to the side if needs be. I pushed Sam into a trot and he happily trotted up the road, active behind a little heavy in my hands but lightened when asked. He also came back to a lovely pace when asked. We travelled around a km up the road and our last turn left down the 'alpaca lane' On this corner a friend lives so we dropped in and had a chat. Sam happily munched the green grass, sniffed her dog and generally relaxed. Mounted up again and down the lane way - nearly home!!!!! We also had a lovely trot until we spotted a huge stump. This was scary so we had to stop, look, sniff, walk on.
It was a lovely ride and I really believe Sam enjoyed getting out, seeing new sights. We were gone for an hour and a half. Rain is predicted again tomorrow and Wednesday so hopefully it will then stop and dry in time for the weekend!!!!