Here there be dragons...

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

Sane, quiet, weak-willed horses do not go advanced.

It's been an, ummm, interesting week in the world of a certain baby horse.  Yeah, interesting.  That's the word for it.

If you scroll down a bit you'll get to read all about our Sunday and Monday adventures.  My superpony had a very short stretchy walk/trot ride on Tuesday and that's all.  She was understandably somewhat tired.   The story picks up from there.

So Lexi went to her first show on Wednesday :)

Right, don't get too excited. By went, I mean literally "went" -- not competed.  hahaha I was coaching but only had one student there (insert commercial minibrag blog post here. Selena on Willow -- came second in their first ever show. Woohoo!).   Anyways -- only bringing one horse so I figured Lexi could take the other spot on the trailer and go learn to be a grown-up horse.   She could get on and off the trailer (something she's very unsure about), go somewhere and hang out eating.

Equus has a ton of space both in the trailering area and in the warm-up, so it'd be an ideal baby location as it'd be easy to keep her out of the way.  And I even considered the possibility of schooling her XC after.

Now I'm not new -- I know how exciting babies can be, and I know I couldn't do a fair job of coaching Selena if I had to deal with Lexi too, so... Classic solution...  Ask one of my super-star working students.  Kennedy's pretty brave and I thought might be willing to give up a summer day, so I asked if she would come babysit.  Sure enough she was all for it.

Lexi loaded with little stress and trailered...  Well at least as well as she ever does *sigh*.  Unloaded and she was actually pretty cool hanging out eating while we got Willow ready.  In dressage warm-up, also cool.  Beginning to think maybe I'd underestimated my little drama queen.

Yeah -- you're not new here.

Coming back from dressage we had an unfortunate run-in with a four-wheeler which was good for all sorts of leaping and flailing about in the air -- really quite impressive!  I asked Kennedy if she wanted me to take her, but no, she was fine with her :)  Four-wheeler driver killed the engine right away and waited very patiently till we were safely past, but it at least justified bringing her in the first place.  hahaha

Okay so fair enough.  She was quite good during stadium warm-up -- dragged Kennedy off in search of the perfect piece of grass, which was miles from anywhere anything interesting was going on of course, but generally all good.   Selena finished her round and we were back in the w/u area, stopped so she could dismount and change to XC gear.  Lexi was maybe ten feet away, when all of a sudden she lost her little mind.  I swear she tried to turn herself inside out!  Legs flailing everywhere in a hugely impressive display of athleticism but more than slightly excessive and unending.  Twisting and turning in ways horses were never supposed to turn -- seriously you'd swear she was trying out for cirque du soleil!  She just kept leaping and cavorting for no apparent reason, but eventually I managed to follow her gaze and figure out what was causing it.

And then I had to look again because I really didn't believe it.

Maybe 40m away, on the other side of a fence was a...


Worse - a pony being ridden by a child!

Now we all know that is, indeed, the epitome of well-disguised evil, but most of us don't react quite so obviously about it.  And the drama didn't end until the child finished whatever tack adjustment he was making and moved on.   Absolutely insane.

This from the horse that didn't blink at the donkey.

Right -- so then we went to walk XC.  There wasn't a ton mowed, so I decided not to ride.  All good.  She had a slight meltdown when a group of three other horses galloped towards us; nothing compared to the pony standing still, but still moderately impressive.  But then, before they even passed, not only did the drama stop -- it went the other extreme. That's right, once again my lovely little grey mare dropped with no warning to roll in the hay.  Admittedly she was again in long grass (to get off the galloping path) but still.  Sheesh.  You'd think she'd at least wait till the scary galloping horses had passed her.  hahaha oh dear.

I just might die on our first outing.

That was Wednesday.  Thursday she was being turned out with a new buddy.  She was *really* excited about said new buddy.  So excited that instead of waiting for me to unlatch the gate and let her in she JUMPED the friggin' fence.  From a halt.  And then tried to go for a run with said new buddy, but really -- he's a 14yo beginner horse whose fastest pace rivals the average turtle.  He was all sorts of excited to have a new friend, but content to show it without actually moving.  Rescue lead line, decide horse looks reasonably sound leaping around, and return to the barn.  I was really concerned that she'd hurt herself landing, but when I lunged her later she was sound so all good.

Friday we had our first really good dressage lesson.  So I was legitimately thrilled at that.  I'm learning the signs of an impending temper-tantrum and how to avoid them and/or pick my battles.  She's definitely going to be the type of mare you have to negotiate with.  Fortunately, those are the ones I enjoy :)  Anyways -- we all know about the dressage pyramid.  The ultimate training scale.  Suffice to say we're not on the plains of Giza.  We're not even in Egypt.  We're looking at photos.  Blurry ones.  hahaha but it was still a huge baby step in the right direction :)

Saturday I was coaching at Glenarden HT (hey, is this sounding familiar at all?)   Hahaha but unlike Equus, Glenarden does *not* have very much room, so I did *not* bring my baby horse.  She stayed home and behaved herself all day.  Lexi's regular turnout buddy is on stall rest.  Charlie's regular turnout buddy is on vacation.  Lexi and Charlie used to be turned out together and get along really well.  Tell me the leap isn't that big?  Yes -- I turned Lexi and Charlie out together and they settled quickly.  No drama.

Well apparently Charlie told Lexi what she'd missed at the show.  My friend Rebecca calls me a couple hours later to tell me Lexi's doing conditioning laps of our mini-xc course (which is in her and Charlie's excessively large paddock).  In 30+deg temps.  And showing no signs of stopping.   She said Charlie did one lap with her and then stopped, looked at her like she was insane, and returned to grazing.  Apparently there was no drama or concern in her behaviour.  Not stressed or charging the gate.  Nope, just wanted to run. And run. And run.  So Rebecca kindly rescued her, hosed her off (yeah for having spent two weeks teaching her slowly that wash stalls are a good thing!   She's a grey horse, she can't be afraid of the wash stall), cooled her out, and then returned her back to her own Charlie-less paddock.

It's been an interesting week.  Makes me wonder what's next :)


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