Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Forest ride

Last night I hooked up the float, checked the brakes, packed my saddle, and some carrots, so that I had less to do this morning. I slept pretty well except I had a dream there was a nail in our driveway.

I got up at 7am and had a shower and ate breakfast outside. It was a beautiful morning, no wind and sunny. Then I made a coffee and checked my emails. I had planned to load at 8.45am - allowing for any delays with that and to give myself some groundwork time once there, since I was meeting Bronwyn at 9.30am.

I went outside to get Garbo at 8.30am and he was lying down having a sleep - the other two were as well. I went right up to him and he just groaned.

I took the opportunity to take a photo!

or two...

Maraschino was lying down too.... 10 minutes later he still didn't look interested in getting up!

Finally he got up - I didn't want to force him. I gave him a brush and picked out his feet.

Then it was time to load.... I headed towards the float and practised a few sends through the gap between my car and the fence (both sides - one bigger than the other)... and then stood at my tackbox and asked him to load up. George was watching so I wondered if he would load as well as last night. But he did. I closed the dividers and shut the back door (while Garbo ate his grain at the front), and closed the top.

George said I'll get the gate for you - hold on a minute you have a flat tyre (on my car!)... No way! So off came Garbo and I texted Bronwyn to say we might be 10 minutes late - just as well I started early.

I led Garbo up the side to eat grass and he loaded up again!! I was down the side of the float and he was on. So funny.

My lovely husband changed it for me in record time. I loaded again (and and he was an angel even after all that! Off we went.

We arrived at the horsepark on time!

There were quite a few trucks and floats there... this was the empty end...

Bronwyn said "No way" when I told her I was riding in a hackamore. Garbo was really well behaved while we saddled up and quite calm - there was alot going on, trucks arriving, horses unloading at lightening speed, dogs...

I did some ground work including sideways and backwards and then I got on and my nerves disappeared (although they were not too bad). We had a lovely hour long walk on a loop track in the forest, a couple of little hills and a little trot up the last hill. Critey (Garbo's sister) was very calm as always and we had a lovely ride and a catch up.

It's been nearly a year and a half since I last went to the forest ( had started Parelli one month before my last ride there) and while on the ride today I realised the following;
  • My balance is better
  • My seat is better
  • I feel so much more relaxed - all this work the last 18 months on confidence thresholds for Garbo and I has really paid off
  • I don't panic when Garbo moves up a gait - I don't grab the reins like I used to - I just sat and lifted one rein slowly
  • Garbo was really relaxed

Also - I pedalled quite a bit when ever I thought about it which was great. Garbo had hardly any opposition reflex like he does at home. So all in all a good day. He even got to play in a puddle and cool himself off. There are troughs along the tracks so he got three drinks too.

This is near the end of th ride - he doesn't look too knackered (I thought he would).. the reins look a bit tight here because I was trying to stop him from heading home.... he was supposed to be posing.

(tired on the last leg and lagging behind a bit)

When we returned to the horsepark he had a big roll in the sand and I hosed him down and headed home.

I had asked George to give Coco and Maraschino a little feed after we left - and he did. He said Maraschino called out a few times but never panicked or ran around - and when I came down the road I could see him - he was very calm. He calmly walked over to the fence after asking Garbo where he had been. Garbo was still in the float and started telling Maraschino all about it.

So - a great day - might do it all again next week!!

1 comment:

cilla said...

oh vicki i am so happy for you. i did think for a minute you had to cancel the ride when you found the puncture and my heart sank. but no! it was a great success.
you look so happy and relaxed in such a beautiful place.
i went to bed last night thinking of you and wishing for it to go well and it did. fabulous!!