Thursday 26 May 2016

I Can See Clearly Now The Rain Has Gone

After 5 days of solid rain, the skies finally cleared last night (okay, I mean Tuesday night, I wrote most of this post yesterday) and I went to see Kachina. I had hurt my leg on the weekend so that coupled with the rain meant that I hadn't been out to the barn for a few days.

Blue sky! 

Kachina seemed glad to see me, she actually walked over and poked her head over the fence towards me which is not her usual MO. The pen she's in is actually higher ground than most of the pens and generally has good drainage, even it was a sucking mud pit after all the rain though. Shockingly, Kachina was pretty clean besides her legs.

Kachina and pen-mate, muddy pen
Hi Mom!

On the walk towards the barn, we had a necessary discussion about polite leading manners and how she is not to pull ahead of me and cut me off. Kachina was pretty amped up and by the time we got into the indoor arena, I had rethought my plan to ride. I'm not saying I couldn't have ridden, but I only had time to ride or do turnout/groundwork, not both, and I could see Kachina needed to run. The footing in her pen isn't exactly ideal for getting her exercise so I can't blame her.

I turned her loose in the indoor arena and she proceeded to do several laps at the trot and canter. She keeps getting more and more comfortable at the canter at liberty which is always exciting for me to see.

Of course I didn't get any pictures of her cantering

After she got her runs out and came to see me, I did some ground work and grooming. Ground work is something that I consistently need to work on with Kachina to have her lead and stand politely. She seems to be a lot happier to take directions from me when I'm in the saddle versus on the ground. Kachina is never very comfortable in the indoor arena and I haven't been in there for a couple months now, so that compounds the problem. She always has a tendency to get ahead of me when leading. She doesn't pull on the lead rope, she just will walk ahead of me and then turn in front of me like she's lunging around me while I'm walking. I've learned several exercises to try and get her beside me, but I haven't yet found one that works in all situations. This time, as I walked around the arena, I would regularly stop and get her to quietly back up a few steps. She was still walking a little too far ahead of me but at least this got her to tune into me better so she would stop the second I did and automatically take a step back so she was more at my side. I called that a success and left her back out after cleaning the mud from her legs and feet.

Okay Mom, I'm done, let me show you where the door is so you can put me back

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