Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

The latest Lexi adventures

So as some of you know, my horse has been essentially feral since...  ummm about September.  She had an abscess, which blew out a good part of her hoof and basically killed the last of the nice riding weather.  And then I began working full time but was still teaching every night and, well, shall we say my motivation did not exceed my exhaustion.   And then I moved her and she wasn't even at the same barn I was teaching!   At that point at least she was being ridden by Steph and slowly considering getting something that might, one day, resemble fit.  And then she went lame.  Fail.  And, to be honest, I was rather focused on my wedding.  So I deemed my pony could be on vacation until I returned to take care of her.

So we got back and she was still nqr.  And we played the mystery lameness game for a bit.  I finally decided that she must've pulled something in her shoulder -- if I had to guess I'd've said playing a little too hard outside.

Gave it a little more time and then sure enough one day she randomly trotted out sound.  Sweet!  Conveniently just as the weather began to consider turning :)   Gave her another week, just to be safe, and then started bringing her back.

That first day was the nappiest mare ever.  Have I mentioned I own an oversized Thelwell?

I am not even kidding.
Yeah - I was alone, so not *quite* that dramatic, but I definitely got a pretty solid No.  In the way only mares can truly manage.  Until today I would've said only pony mares.  It wasn't the chestnut TB temper-tantrum -- that, I'm used to ;)   This was just uh huh, you can't make me.  And let's put this in perspective -- I was asking for a 10 min walk and 5 min trot.  But, I will say, when she did finally go, she was absolutely lovely.  And sound.  Sweet.

Day two was Steph's turn.  In retrospect, I probably should've finished the behaviour discussions before letting Steph have a go, but it was an interesting exercise.  Steph's never really dealt with either mares or nappiness before.  And, well, they didn't make it very far *sigh*

So then Lexi got a day off, because despite her less-than-ideal behaviour, I was A impressed that there was no drama or insane athletics surrounding the first rides back, and B really taking the whole "bringing my horse back slowly" thing seriously.

Next day I get on and she was lovely.  There was a moment or two of nappiness at the very start and then just awesome.  Walk/trot through and connected.  Stopped while things were good. Sweet!  Next day, she was super high going in; I was fairly excited.  First few mins fine, but then she took an odd step.  Obviously she felt it too because she instantly hit the breaks :(   Got her to walk on and seemed sound, but I'm playing the over cautious game and so stopped.  So very disappointed.

Gave her the weekend off, and then it was Steph's turn again.  This one was way more successful and she had two gaits, seemed sound, and both directions.  Yeah!  Progress.

So now you're caught up to tonight.   Ah tonight.   Did I mention it was sunny out?   And the sandring footing was almost perfect?   And well, she was so sensible about her first ride back, why wouldn't she be equally sensible about her first ride outside?  Because clearly that's the logical thing to do.

And you know what?   She was.   Yeah - I know, boring story.  Yeah for grown-up horses ;)  Hahaha I was alone, so I was smart about it and wandered around the sand ring before I mounted.  She was high for a bit and nappy again (horses she's never seen before turned out next to the sandring were her new best friends!) but not horrifying and eventually we were walking and trotting quietly all around the ring.  We even did a *gasp* canter each direction with no drama!   You have no idea how excited I was by that.   A plastic bag fluttered near her feet which was definitely good for a moment, but even that had no recurring issues.

But then, while we were quietly walking around, a GIANT LION attacked us from its hiding spot behind a fallen jump wing.  Holy Epona, you do not understand the severity of the situation.  The *only* reason we survived was due to Lexi's incredible escape!

Yup.  That happened.  Or so Lexi would have you believe.  In *my* mind, what happened was a slightly overweight orange cat woke up from its nap by the standard, strolled over to where the sun had moved, and flopped back down to continue tanning itself.  But, it would seem, my horse is afraid of cats.  And seriously afraid of cats -- like not going anywhere near that end of the arena and must keep an eye on the monster at all times, afraid of cats.

Just to put this in perspective...  Look to the left, by the wings.
Remember though, I'm trying to fit her up slowly and quietly.  So mad gallops from fearsome predators is not, exactly, in the plan.   So we wandered to the edge of her comfort zone -- where she tensed and grew an extra hand, but wasn't spinning or running away.  And we stood there.  And we stood there.  And thankfully the well-fed feline lacked any ambition and was quite content to provide a training moment.   And we stood there some more.  Until eventually Lexi got bored and relaxed.

I got bored long before she did.  Apparently I lack self-preservation.
Take a moment and compare mane in this photo, with the Thelwell example above.
Oh dear.
She got some pats, we walked forward a bit, and we repeated the process.  It was very long and very boring.  But it was, at least, productive.  And while still with all senses on high alert, by the end we could at least walk calmly around the vast majority of the ring (still giving a healthy respect to the lair of course!)  I parked her in that corner and dismounted there -- which was good for a healthy shy.  Clearly the lion had pounced and tackled me!  Despite not actually having so much as moved.  hahaha ah dear.  She eventually chilled and we went for a bit of a walk.  I wanted to take her to meet the cat, but it was on the owner's lawn so I didn't feel that was appropriate.

But, the real takeaway from today, is that I Got To Ride Outside!   Woohoo!   And that is all.


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