Today was Sunday and – different from the rest of the country – we are experiencing gorgeous weather.
It was 68 degrees here in Grass Valley. The sun was shining!
Since it was such a lovely day, I decided to go outside and reacquaint myself with my other horses…
To be honest, I have some guilt that I spend 2 hours a day with Mama Tess and hardly any time with the others. I don’t think most of them care at all… but some do.
So, I grabbed Beautiful Girl and took her for a walk in the woods.
BG is often overlooked. She lives in Finn’s immense shadow.
They are full siblings, 4 years difference and worlds apart.
They look alike (if you don’t know them) but not really. They are shaped totally differently, they move totally differently and they act totally differently.
Finn cannot stand to be without her. She’s OK without him.
And right there is the difference.
She is confident. He is not.
WHY I RARELY RIDE BG.
I have told myself that Finn is a better mount for me because he has a shorter stride and because he has far more experience.
And, to be truthful, BG has been very fussy ever since she was a baby. She hated the halter, wouldn’t stand to be tied, wouldn’t let anyone touch her ears, refused to be bathed, pinned her ears if she didn’t like the saddle presented…
It was just easier to take Finn.
But as much as I love Finn, his schnannygans on the trail can tire me. Sometimes I just want a more sensible mount.
Lately, I’ve felt a huge desire to become closer to BG. I’ve felt that maybe she was ready. Maybe it was her time.
So, I decided to bring BG to the park today. I thought we could have some girltime to get to know each other again and see if we might be a good match for 2014.
With Aladdin (my passed, perfect trail partner for many, many years), I never even thought about the part before you actually hit the trail.
You know, the catching, grooming, trailering, tying, saddling, bridling and departing part.
Aladdin was great at that. Finn, not so much.
Today, when I grabbed BG – she let me. I put her in the trailer without a second thought. We drove off without any crazy hollering from the rear… She came out into the new place calmly. I tied her. Fine. I groomed her. Fine. I brought out a saddle she didn’t like and she pinned her ears. So, I brought out another… Fine. I put on her bridle without a hint of ear issues and we walked off. Me on the ground, leading the way.
Until she stopped.
BG: Why are we doing this?
Me: We are going on a little hike, you and me! We will explore the woods! Smell flowers! Trim the overgrown plants and spend the day together.
Me: So we can be together and enjoy this!
BG: We can do that at home…
Me (raising my voice): Just walk-up here!
BG (muttering): OKOK, you don’t have to get snippy… I just don’t see the point…
WALK AND TALK
I wasn’t really dragging her, but she wasn’t eager, if you know what I mean.
I’d look back at her and she’d be checking out all of the foreign sounds and poop piles –
BG: WHAT? I’m simply getting my bearings and keeping us safe from any danger.
Me: There is no danger. We are in a State Park for criminy sakes. Don’t you see all the baby strollers here?! Even babies feel safe.
BG: Babies know nothing or they wouldn’t let themselves be pushed around in those horrible devices.
Me: We’re fine. Trust me.
BG: If we are fine, why do you keep looking at me?
Me: I LIKE TO LOOK AT YOU! WE’RE HAVING FUN HERE.
BG: OKOK. Sheesh. Eyes forward please.
Me: Why am I so much faster on 2 legs than you are on 4?! Pick. Up. The. Pace.
BG (muttering): I just don’t see the point.
ALL THE WAY OUT
So I have a pattern I do for the first few rides of the year. We go out to one point (the river) and then turn around and go back the shorter way.
All the way to the river, she was behind me, shuffling along. I felt like I was pulling my teenager around a museum.
But, she also didn’t spook at anything, at all. Nothing. Not the bikers whizzing by, not the screaming kids, not the lumbering dogs or jingling, little Xmas sweatered dogs.
She was fine with it all.
…Not at all like her brother.
I brought her to the vast and scary stream (according to Finn) and she stepped right in, swished and swallowed.
Then she looked at me.
BG: And so…? Is this the fun part?
Me: C’Mon. Enjoy the newness!
BG: We have better water at the trailer. This could have microorganisms in it.
BG: I tell you what, let’s go a new way home. Spice it up a little.
Me: OK. You’re on!
NEW WAY HOME
So, we took a new way back to the parking lot.
BG walked at my shoulder now. She was eager to get back, I’m sure.
Every step or two she’d bump me with her nose for reassurance.
Me: You’re OK…
BG: I thought so, just making sure.
Me: You’re fine….
BG: I figured. Just making sure.
And so it went. We walked back.
The bumps were fewer and farther between.
She was confident.
Our only real issue was other horses.
She wanted to go with them.
BG: LOOKKKKKK! Other horses! Let’s go with them and join their herd and see what food they eat!
BG: But why not?? There they go! We’re losing them! If we run now, we can catch up!
Me: No. What am I, chopped liver here?
Me: Why don’t you want to hang with me?
BG: Why don’t you want to hang with them?
BACK AT THE TRAILER.
Back at the trailer I praised her and told her how wonderful she was.
She couldn’t believe all the adulation… for what?
If this was all it took to get treats and hugs – a walk in the woods – well then, bring it on!
She was pleased with herself.
And afterwards, with only a few hollers on the way home, I let her out to graze freely with Bodhi.
She felt very sassy!
With Finn screaming and hollering, trying to get her to come back to him in his pasture, she strutted around the yard, hardly believing her good fortune.
I PUT HER AWAY.
When I put her away, I told her we would do it again on Tuesday.
She looked at me and then put her head down to eat.
I doubt she believes that I will take her out again on Tuesday – but, I will.