Conversations with Bernard

The ground didn’t feel right for a horse today with our recent freeze/thaw temperatures, even with boots, so I skipped hauling out to ride. I wanted to practice going to see Tarma in her field without bringing her up for work. She was puzzled when I walked up, haltered her, treated her, and walked away without her three times, but I’m hoping it showed her I don’t always mean work.

Instead of riding I finally checked out a local place I’d never been, Hopkins Demonstration Forest. We “only” did three miles, down and back up the canyon, but it was beautiful and quite the quad workout. I also realized I’ve been focusing so much on Benny’s off leash manners that I haven’t put as much energy to his on leash behavior. He learned quick to stay in front of me, especially while I was plodding my slow but consistent way uphill.

I’ve also taught him a trick Cyrus never quite understood, called “fix”. I use this whenever he gets his leash tangled around me, a pole, or himself, and he unwinds himself without my help. He also has a new habit of whining whenever I stop, “Let’s keep going lady!” so we discussed that sometimes stopping is needed and it’s fine to chill for a bit. Finally I have a tired Labrador!

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After years of borrowing horses, working to ride and catch riding, I finally have my own horse, a spicy chocolate mare...but also a demanding day job (who doesn't?), a nerdy husband, a soccer loving kid who needs to be parented (by me, duh), and the ultimate trail buddy, a chocolate Labradork!

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