Amazing first because this is my second post in two days :P
But also because I got to play with my girl. I just can't even explain how full my heart is right now.
It started with me going out to take care of chores this morning because Ellie got back from a week long cruise at 1:00am and I didn't want her to have to wake up and do chores. I'm sad to admit that this last week while I've been taking care of chores is the first time in too long that I've actually seen Sora every day. Mainly it's because it's been winter and it gets dark too quickly but it's still been hard on me. At any rate, I finished up chores and went home but returned later once it had warmed up.
During the week I've been taking Sora on nice long walks where she basically gets to decide where we go. She has been choosing to walk out along the road but I've normally cut it fairly short so we don't get too far from her friend. Today though I let her go further and she was just so calm and happy it was hard to believe this is the same horse I started with. It was one of those moments in time that you find yourself looking back to the beginning and wondering how you were lucky enough to end up here.
I did finally decide it was time to turn around and head back but when we got back to the tack shed Sora was NOT interested in being done. I would have loved to do more with her but my legs were so tired from tramping through snow at horse speed that I threw precaution in the air and climbed up onto a nearby "mounting block" just to see what would happen. Only partially to my surprise Sora marched up to it and parked herself like she was wondering why I hadn't thought of it sooner :>)
I climbed on ready to jump off at the first sign of discomfort but she just turned and walked us back towards the road. I sort of drew the line at riding a horse with just a leadrope, not even fastened at both ends, bareback and without a helmet (yes I'm sorry) along even a quiet road so I draped the leadrope back around her neck like a cordeo and using my seat, legs and cordeo cues asked her for a nice turn and she gave it. The best part though was that while she would stop for treats when she had done something nice, she also had forward movement the entire time. We never got stuck and even when I decided I should climb off she didn't want me to and tried to keep going. It's awesome when your horse has connected standing perfectly still to mounting and dismounting so strongly that they think you won't be able to figure out how to dismount if they just keep walking lol!
I was just so happy to get to spend the wonderful, warm, sunny day with my horse in such complete harmony. I just don't know what I would be found if I hadn't found AND and so completely changed my riding and training style.
I should mention, so that no one thinks I'm an abusive horse owner, that much of Sora's discomfort seems to stiffness and that after our trail walk, for example, she was walking like normal even when bending or backing. It was because of this and the fact that at even a hint of a limp I would have been off that I risked our short 10 minute ride. So no worries, Sora and her health mean WAY more to me than one short, wonderful ride :)