I am currently blogging from the very ritzy St. Croix Falls McDonalds because I do not have air conditioning and I was feeling in danger of melting :)
Because of the heat, all I have done with Sora for the past four-five days is bathe her, scratch her (a lot), and share food with her like oranges, apples and granola bars. I feel like she has greatly deserved it!
On Thursday I went out to see her thinking I would do ONLY what she wanted. I brought a bag of carrots and an Orange and brought her in the arena to play and hang out. For awhile I scratched all her itchy places and encouraged her to roll and get nice and dirty and then I left to get her grooming stuff. Sora is far less confident when I leave her so she started running back and forth which quickly turned into a very energetic game. Two years ago she wouldn't have been able to calm herself down and I would have been too scared to go back in the pen with her but when I got back with the grooming tools I went right in and started brushing her. At this point I had an audience of several people and one of them is someone I have been spending more time with who we will call J.
Once again I am reminded not to judge a book by it's cover because she is not someone who I would seek out to ride or spend time with but she has turned out to be incredibly supportive and open minded, and fun! She wanted to ride her young horse and said she would feel better if someone was around so since the other group was leaving I said I would hang around with Sora thinking that I would just play with her on the ground a bit. J started to roundpen her gelding and he started to race around and Sora charged him from outside the fence!!! I think that my normally submissive little horse was getting something from him she didn't like. I smooched to her a little to drive her away and then kept her further from him with my body language.
Eventually J brought her horse into the arena to ride and after some more groudwork mounted. Up until this point I had no plans to ride but everything with Sora was going so well that I led her over to the mounting block by the lunge line, tied it up at the end and stepped up on the mounting block. I left it up to her whether I would mount or not and it took her a couple of tense minutes to relax and finally she sighed and stepped up so perfectly lined up that I knew she was willing and hopped on :D I was holding the lunge line attached to her halter but didn't have anyway to steer her other than my seat. Of course she was incredible!!! I was talking to J about the type of training I do and although she probably thought I was crazy to climb on like that, she quickly saw that Sora was happy and relaxed and started drilling me with questions :) It was wonderful and she was so encouraging.
What is funny is that the thing that made me the proudest is that I listened to Sora and when she stopped in the corner and pawed when I asked her to turn I climbed off!!! Funny when you are pleased with yourself for doing something that most people would warn you away from lol.