apart from the fact that it's so cold I've turned the heating back on this evening ...
Molly wasn't quite the star today that she had been yesterday.
Had to ride on my own .... so went in the arena for about 20 minutes. Then thought I'd try the 20acre on my own, which we haven't done before but regular readers will recall we thought a bout it a couple of weeks ago but were stymied by a gate....
So, set off. She was well up for that, wanted to trot down to the field (not a good plan, it's quite a steep hill!), through the gate, happily open, and trotted on. got to an old field boundary - there's a log placed as a jump, she sidled past that, then trotted on again, but then started stopping. I couldn't see why for a bit, the stopping became more so, then I realised ....
visualise, we are riding round the edge of a field, the River Wear on our right, and straight ahead there's a coppice through which we can see. We are heading to the place where you turn left down the far side of the field, so that the coppice would then be on our right with the wear behind us.
Firstly, she could hear before I could see the fisherman standing in the middle of the Wear casting his line. That wouldn't have been so bad, I don't suppose, but then she spotted through the coppice (which of course is only coming into bud now, given the late spring) white things moving at a hell of a pace. That was a herd of sheep, and they didn't all pass at once, but in bits, So they were scary monsters, little white blobs moving fast ... Then to cap that, she clocked some horses also to be seen through the coppice. She blocked. She did THINK about napping back, but didn't. She gave a couple of very minor bucks (the sort where you think, oh she bucked, rather than b***** h*** can I sit this buck). she moved on couple of paces and blocked again. and stood there. and stood there. and thought about turning round again.
I decided the one thing I didn't want to do was end up where she turned round to go back with me having no say on the subject, that clearly woulnd't be good.
So I decided that if the only way she was going to go forwards was by having a lead, the only lead she was going to get was from me. The trouble with that is, of course, once I'm off, I can't get back on again without someone to hold her, she still won't stand. But that's what I did.
Some would say I shouldn't have done that. But since it was the very first time she'd been asked to go round that field on her own, and to my mind the idea was to get round it, not to go back, I thought and still think it was the right thing to do. It was certainly a much better plan than ending up going back the way we'd come, which would have taught her only that she could get away with not going forwards.
And then when I got back I had to wash her legs & bum again; whilst its nice to have a horse that doesn't insist on stopping for a loo break, if she did, then a wash wouldn't have been needed.
Third Time Pays for All
6 months ago