No lesson yesterday. Trainer Girl was actually around this weekend but I had misread the schedule and didn't think to double check. I'm a bit sad about that!
It snowed like crazy Friday night. I woke up to about 6" of snow on the ground. Perfect excuse to hang out at home watching Rolex cross country. I wish I had a tenth the skill set of some of those riders. I watched the course walk video and those jumps are huge, and not at all straightforward- yet there were many riders out there making it look easy. Part of me is wildly inspired, the other part depressed at my current lack of skill.
I finally headed out to the barn mid afternoon. We were back to normal spring weather, the result being all that snow spontaneously melted, flooding everything. At least the grass will be green! The outdoor ring was unusable and under about 6" of water. Ginger had to cross a mini lake to come see me in the paddock. Luckily Lainey lead the way once I promised treats.
I brought Ginger in and gave her a good cleaning - wow was she filthy! I really need to figure out her mane. Part of me wants to pull it, the other part says let it grow long. The result is about an 8" long mane that looks awful.
We spent some time playing with groundwork. She's so amazing at it that it's fun to play with. We did some pretend in hand trail and some pretend showmanship. I then rode walk trot, focusing on being very relaxed and quiet. I was joking about practicing for western pleasure :) I know a lot of people would want her to be "working" ie more engaged and on the bit, but she's naturally so reactive and forward I don't think slow stretchy work will hurt :) My gut is saying she's a bit overwhelmed with things right now and I need to make things easy and fun to get her confidence back up. I'm not saying that's the whole problem, but it's certainly one of the things I can try to control better. I suspect she'll always be quite reactive and spooky, but if we can find a "happy place" I think we're going to have an incredible partnership. We did a few single trot poles to end the ride and she was pretty proud of herself! Rolex, here we come ;)
We finished our nice relaxing day with a walk around the grounds and a bit of hand grazing as a reward for being such a good girl.
Apologies to those reading, this is going to continue to be a super slow and steady and probably boring process for a while yet. Trainer girl is resuming full time work with her this coming week and I'm madly researching barns on the coast that might be a good fit for us if I take a new job. I've got a couple of connections from previous clinics that I hope pan out.
Mr G thinks if/when Lainey sells I should buy a lower level packer and take full advantage of the opportunity to advance my own riding and compete. Not sure about that, because I don't want to short change Ginger. As I told him, these are also exceptional horse trainers and I have much to learn there also and already have the horse to do it with :)