I've been a horrible blogger lately! I can't seem to find time to put down all the things I want to say, and I can't open a new post without fully going through everything that's been happening.
Sunday November 14th was the one year anniversary of this blog, and of my owning Bijou!!! I didn't really have a ton of expectations at the get go, and I liked it that way, but I think I've overcome some huge stuff and I'm really proud of my little mare. My favorite thing about Bijou and I is that I feel like she's MY horse and I'm her one and only person. She really didn't trust me in the beginning, and it took me breaking my ankle, her getting a hole in her head, many days crying, many days laughing, and many more days of work to get her to understand that I'm her mom and she can trust me. I've never really worked with a seriously distrusting horse before. I'm glad I've gotten the experience and I am so much more thankful for the stuff I can do with her. I've just started riding her (halter and blanket as tack :P) back to her pasture. It's really adorable because I pretty much just get on and squeeze and she knows where her buddies are and just marches along, but there've been a few times where something scary comes up and I don't have steering really so I just hold on, and she gets it. She knows when I'm feeling off balance, and her ears flick back to make sure I'm still there, and then we go on our merry little way. I love those moments, because even just 2 months ago I would never have dreamed of doing that, and now it's no big deal.
I'm starting to see all the hard work pay off. This is where I knock on wood because every time I say that I take two steps back but I'm starting to get a horse that I can leave out in pasture for 4 days, pull her out, and have a really productive ride. That's saying something for a 6 yr old TB mare I feel like. It used to be that every new alternative of the same question was too overwhelming, now I can point at a x-rail, and it happens. Today I took her over 5 trot poles and instead of stopping and snorting at them, she processed and daintily tiptoed over them, just as if they were only trot poles, instead of the toe biting brightly colored monsters they were before.
I think another thing she's taught me is to appreciate the little things. I really do appreciate the days when she feels super sound and wants to bend and lift her back for me, even if it's only for a little bit. We don't have to accomplish a huge goal, just something small. Two steps of really good 'back', one really good long side worth of bend, one correct lead.
Then there's the big things, where she just wows me. Like the day I took her to Twin Rivers. That was amazing. I had so much fun and she was SOOO GOOD!!! And it's those days that I look back to when she's rooting her face to the ground only to put on her giraffe impression two seconds later all because I asked her to trot. It isn't perfect, but it's not who won or lost, it's how we play the game right?
Ok, enough self reflection, I want to plan ahead for next year! I want to have some real goals:
1) Compete in at least 3 shows from now until November 2011
2) Start schooling bigger fences, working our way up to 2'-2'6" (???)
3) Work on confronting scary things under saddle (cows, sheep, tarps, waves at the beach, etc)
4) Try Bitless to see what happens
5) Try Chiropractic to see what happens
6) Find a saddle that fits us both! (I'm hoping that my bates will when I find my other gullet... now where did it run off to)
There, better late than never...