Finally Fall

I saw my breath this morning when I stepped out my front door at 7:00.  Yesterday, I got misted on when walking.  Wednesday saw me in a long-sleeved tee (with shorts and sandals, but that’s beside the point).  Is it finally fall?  One can only hope.  I trying desperately to ignore the weather report for next week, the one that says we’re going to be back up in the 90s again.

*plugs ears and hums loudly*

But for now, I’m going to enjoy every single reprieve I get.  This is my favorite time of year, when I can drive down the freeway with my windows down, music blasting, wind whipping my hair into disarray.

View from my front yard.  I live in suburbia
and board half an hour away in quasi-suburbia-
with-large-pastures.

There seems to be another potential storm brewing (maybe the dregs of the one that dumped 2′ of snow in the Sierras and put this year’s Tevis into disarray decided to come south?) today, so I scuttled out of the house around mid-morning and headed down to the barn.

My timing was pretty good…Mimi had finished breakfast, and was just about to be turned out into the pasture.  It’s so much easier to work with her when I can get to her before her pasture time…otherwise, she’s rather put out about just getting settled into the serious business of grazing, only to be interrupted for that silly little thing called work.

The last half a dozen times I’ve ridden her in the arena, I’ve worked her pretty extensively in a bit.  I may have mentioned this before, but she hates bits.  Something about tiny pony mouths, and just a general distaste for hunks of metal crammed between her lips.

Last week, I inadvertently discovered that if I am going to use a bit, she much prefers it to be very snug in her mouth..definitely the “two wrinkles on the corner of the mouth” rule of thumb, and bordering on a third.  Adjusted that way, she didn’t fuss, make too many weird faces, or try to gnaw it in half.  She was also very light in the face and extremely responsive.

Lesson out of all of this?  Don’t be afraid to go against convention and experiment.  Just because something is “always” done a certain way doesn’t mean it’s necessarily correct for a given circumstance.

This week, I decided to use the S-Hack on her.  This is my headgear of choice for when we’re out on trail, and I’ve always had great control with it.  But sometimes, I wish she was a little more sensitive to doing some of the finer nuances of arena work with this set-up.  So that was today’s goal…make her do some actual arena work in the hack.  And she did really well.  She’s pretty stiff and resistant to giving to the left, so we spent a lot of time working on that.

The cooler weather also has her feeling good, and in very good spirits, and she’s a ton of fun to ride when she’s that way.  I don’t have to think when I’m riding her…we’ve been partners for so long, I can just ride her.  And y’know, I really, really like riding that little mare.

Thanks for reading! Comments are always welcome!

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