I read another excellent, too on the nose for comfort newsletter by the savvy Anne Helen Peterson. It pretty well sums up what’s going on this month, the Fall Regression, so hop over there and let her much better writing suck you right in.
Everything feels a bit on pause, or the same old same old. Well, except Benny. Puppies bring the joy and required movement I need to really stave off the winter gloomies. October means the end of road trips and horse camping, a long, wet, dark slide towards the holidays. I sold the little Morgan Built trailer and my new one isn’t due for another month. I have a shiny, rumbling new to me diesel truck and nowhere to drive it but the barn and back. Work is stable but an unceasing mental load, no new projects on the immediate horizon thanks to still being in the middle of pandemic response.
Yesterday brought good news, however. I reached out to Dr. Sammons of Lavender Equine, and she came out and spent a solid couple of hours with Tarma and I. I haven’t ridden her since we returned from Sheep Springs, she was sore and out of sorts due to herd changes and I needed different eyes on her. Even though the weather was wretched, wind blowing, dumping rain on the arena roof, Tarma quickly decided Dr. Sammons was her new favorite person. She was a bit uncertain to start with, Why is this strange person touching me? Once she realized what was going on, her head came down, she licked and chewed and at one point almost dozed, the most relaxed I’ve ever seen her outside of just having finished dinner.
We also checked saddle fit and she pointed out Tarma’s ready for a narrower tree (thankfully the Wintec has exchangeable gullets), and a thinner pad so the saddle doesn’t move side to side so much, which probably contributed to her right shoulder being sore. Dr. Sammons gave me a few easy exercises to ask Tarma to lift and strengthen her back and abs. She also suggested some T Touch or Masterson techniques, as Tarma really enjoyed a few the doc tried on her. She also gave us the green light to start riding again, really focusing on teaching her to lift her back and step under herself. Not having a trailer will keep us home and working in the arena, a little bit everyday goes a long way.
It’s an interesting time, the contrast between Benny, who is silly and crazy and eager to please and always wants to be with me, and Tarma who is…a horse, and a mare, and is much more of a puzzle to figure out what kind of relationship we’ll have. She’s a powerhouse on trail, brave and ready for the next mile, but we’ve some basics to focus on through the winter to get us both fitter and more in sync. I’m much more certain I’m turning Benny into a solid dog, of course I’ll make mistakes but dogs are inherently more forgiving of such things. Tarma’s a sensitive lady and it’s harder for me to meet her where she’s at, but we’ve met in the middle before and will again.
Now excuse me, I’m going to whip up a Hello Fresh meal and glare at the unceasing rain outside my kitchen window. Blah.