It’s been a very emotional last couple of days for me. On Wednesday I had to say goodbye to my cat Soxy. I had him from the time he was a rambunctious kitten. He was 20 years old when he passed. Driving to the barn today, I fought back tears just thinking about him. As I pulled into the barn driveway, my heart was heavy. I stop and look at Alfie in his paddock and question whether I have it in me to ride today.
I park the car and head into the barn with all my stuff. I swear some days I feel like such a bag lady…I have my purse, my lunchbag which has all my bottles of water, a second insulated bag which has my lunch’s for today and tomorrow, and another bag which has some of Alfie’s things in it. Seriously, look up in the dictionary “horse owner bag lady” and you will see my face 😂😂!
I unpack all of my bags and it’s time to get Alfie. I have Jenna, the wife of our barn manager accompany me. Getting Alfie from the field has been tricky lately. He’s totally fine but his field mate Ziggy seems to think when he sees anyone coming to the gate it’s time for him to come in also lol. As I approach the paddock Alfie sees me and comes running to the gate, MOMMMMM!! And then comes Ziggy, running as well. Now it’s a race to see who can get to the gate first….and the winner by a leg is ALFIE!!
As I get Alfie out of the paddock, Jenna gives lots of hugs and kisses to Ziggy as we are able to safely exit the paddock. On my walk down to the barn, Alfie brings his head into my chest, he knows I’m struggling with something, he can sense it. I wrap my arm around him and hug him close, tears welling up in my eyes…he knows how to comfort me in his own way.
I bring him in and he happily starts munching on his hydro hay. At this point my trainer Kari arrives and I manage to pull myself together. I told her I’m not sure what kind of lesson it’s going to be today, my heart isn’t in it.
Alfie finishes his lunch and I walk him into the grooming stall. A quick brush, and I get him all tacked up. We walk into the arena and here we go.
I line him up at the mounting block, he gives me a nudge with his head, I climb the stairs, grab the reins and get on. He stood. 🙌🏻
Our lesson today was a really good one. We get through our warmup nicely, Alfie is bending beautifully and he’s got a nice forward walk. As we cross the diagonal to change directions he walks over a pole with such determination, there’s actually a spark of pep in his eye.
After our circle work it’s time to trot. We start on Alfie’s more challenging direction. His trotting is getting so much better, he’s using his back end muscles and he’s starting to round. As we take a little walk break for me to catch my breath – it’s super hot and humid again – something spooks Alfie and he does his spook move which is a giant leap forward followed by a quick a stop. All I could do was laugh as we tried to figure out what he spooked at. We change direction and start trotting again. As soon as I ask for the trot he picks it up nicely but then breaks into a walk. We start again and this time I give him some big squeezes with my legs and a sight tap with my stick of influence and look at that, he keeps trotting. We end our lesson on that high note.
During our cool down he gets lots of praises. He always tries so hard, and so do I. What was missing today was head tossing, there was none of that. He politely did everything that was asked of him. Tomorrow, is our fun day, we are hitting the trail again. ❤️🐴