I was hoping to write a different post, but I promised myself I’d be honest and real here. Last night I pushed Tarma too hard, trying to work through her fear of fly spray, and today was the fallout. I used every trick and method I’ve learned, I was striving to reach a solid stopping point last night but we never got anywhere good.
Today I was hoping to ride solo at Hardy Creek, but I never even got her boots on. She was nervous in the pasture, she let me walk up and halter her at least. Instead of putting her boots on I decided to let her lunge a bit, see if she would relax. An hour later, both on the line and off, and she was still just as worked up and unwilling to relax. We ended up in her stall just trying to breathe. I phoned a friend and she agreed that even if Tarma did settle down, I shouldn’t ride today, so I let that go. Once she did relax in the stall, eating and drinking and standing still, we took a stroll down to the river, where she totally did a 180 attitude wise. Her head came down, she sighed and swallowed and walked out easily, clearly saying “Well why didn’t you start with this? This I’m happy with!” We grazed by the river (blackberry season, yum!) and enjoyed the sound of the river together, relaxed and calm at last.
Just to make sure she was still willing to hang and relax with me, I tied her to the trailer (I had it all hooked up anyway) and she ate her beet pulp mash while I futzed with my new Horse Bums bags. She also stole my apple I had brought for lunch while I cleaned out all the buckets for our trip next week, just stuck her head in the tack area and snagged it out of the trailer.
I’m a mixture right now, I can clearly see where I went wrong last night and I’m embarrassed and sorry for it; I’m happy we salvaged something from today and still hopeful for this week’s adventures. She’s a good mare and I’ll keep making mistakes and learning more and trying again, and she’s proved that even though it can take her longer than others, she is still willing to meet up with me and try again. Just as long as I don’t have a fly spray bottle.