I can't complain, though. The weather has brought about the opportunity to ride in the arena a full month ahead of schedule, and I've been taking every opportunity I can to get ourselves out and about to start working on our fitness. I signed Annie and I up for two clinics this month, so the ball is certainly rolling and I'm excited!! One of the two day clinics is with our favorite instructor - Anthony, who I primarily rode with most of last year (for a grand total of 7 lessons!). And the other is a Dressage clinic with Derek Huget (I rode with him last January before Annie went for training. I fell off in my first lesson due to a loose girth and have been seeking redemption ever since... now is my chance, haha!).
|The very best of frands!|
So while I was missing saddle time, I didn't really stress about it. It is what it is - we make things fit when and where we can! I did manage to squeeze a quick ride on Annie after class last Thursday night and ponied Spud to get his 3x a week cardio in. In addition to wearing a grazing muzzle 90% of the time, he's already starting to look much better. We'll keep plugging away at it, and the whole ponying thing has gotten much better as I continue to take him.
We did a quick 3km loop (40min), alternating walking and trotting. Annie was great, although she felt kind of... meh? I'm not sure if she needs another adjustment or if she was just having an off day, but her movement didn't feel as snappy and purposeful. It kind of just felt like (and I'm over exaggerating here), a blind horse stumbling along a rocky trail. She didn't trip or stumble once, but it just lacked the feeling of purpose and the intention of going forwards towards something. I noted it and allowed her to stretch down and out during the trot sets, which she seemed to appreciate.
|It looks cold and miserable, but the sun was just behind the trees!|
I popped off, said hello and introduced myself to the young girl. V and I chatted quickly before I meandered on my way, coercing Annie back to the barn because she was very concerned about where her new friends had gone. I finished untacking, picking poo, and a few other chores before heading home.
As I was driving home I kept getting notifications on my phone, so I stopped and opened them. There is a private Facebook group for the rural subdivision and someone had posted about a "loose brown horse". My gut reaction was that it was Spud ("I thought I had locked the barn door?" "How did they get out?!"). As I scrolled on the comments, another post popped up, "horse wearing saddle, no rider..."
I knew exactly who it was and turned around at one of the pull outs and doubled back to the subdivision. I knew V had been riding Geronimo, but had gotten off to walk with the young girl and her new horse.
When I got into the subdivision, my first priority was to see if V had made it home or not. I was concerned she may have fallen and been concussed somewhere on the roadways. As I drove to her house, I did a quick scan for a riderless horse, but saw none. Geronimo wasn't necessarily high on the priority list though.
|You can see V and the other girl wayyyyy off in|
the distance in this picture!
Thankfully, V is mostly OK. She's going to be quite sore and I imagine Geronimo will be too, but I feel less sorry for him in this instance!
Of the entire situation, what floored me the most was that of all these people posting on Facebook about a loose horse, not one person cared to check to see if the rider was OK. No one walked outside to check ditches by their house, no one bothered to make a few phone calls. Half of the people commenting weren't sure if the horse had been contained yet or if it was still loose... It wasn't until after I had replied back stating someone had fallen and was thankfully OK that people seemed to care. It actually really made me angry, and I was so glad I was in a position where I was able to drive back out and double check. I guess non-horsey people don't get it, but it was kind of a bummer that no one really seemed to put two and two together (horse is wearing a saddle... maaaaybe someone fell off?).
A lesson though, because I have a feeling a few residents of the area realized just how serious it could have been.