Each time I head out to the pasture with my halter, I keep two ideas in mind; either we do whatever it is I’m planning, or we don’t and we try something else. Tarma tells me even before I put her halter on what she’s capable and willing to handle that day. It’s probably too soon to tell, but her ratio of being willing to trailer without issue is definitely improving.
Today I slopped my way out into the pasture and she waited for me, accepting the halter as soon as I reached her. We slopped our way up the barn (mud season sprinkled with unexpected bits of ice and snow, ick!) I set her loose in the arena after taking off her mid-weight blanket and let her get some crazies out while I prepped the trailer and her spare boots. When I walked back into the arena, she still wasn’t ready, so I waited and offered her the halter each time she stopped next to me. Four times she said “nah” and walked away, but on the fifth time she slipped her head in the halter and sighed.
Honestly I’m braver with her than I have been, the new trailer and allowing myself plenty of time before an adventure to check in with her gives me reassurance that whenever we reach where we’re headed, I’ll have a solid, willing mare with me. Certain things still make her nervous, like traffic, but she’s checking in with me more often, showing me exactly what she’s feeling so I can adjust, go slower or sometimes faster. I used to walk a ways before mounting, but she told me I walk too damn slow so now I just do a final tack check and mount, so she can march out at her own speed.
Today was short, because it’s winter and dark far earlier than my cuddle and couch loving butt prefers. I did make a mistake in my navigation and accidentally ended up on private property (sorry!). Also, I had to make do with one of those “don’t ever do this” choices and tie her to a tractor while I searched for a lost boot in a super mucky area. I was trying to find a lost boot, not loose another one! The glaring flaw in my plan was…the snow.
Even though I didn’t find my poor lost boot, all’s well that ends well. I think Tarma enjoyed herself well enough, and she definitely enjoyed her well earned beet pulp mash. Now time for a shower so I can finally feel fully warm again!