I've just been too busy to blog because this is what my job has been like lately:
It's that work-life-horse balance dilemma again. Work has been consuming my life. Something has to give, so I've kept the computer off at home while I squeeze in some horse time before collapsing at the end of the day. But there are a few accomplishments and fun things to report:
- I attended a parade and helped on the ground crew. I love a small town parade.
- Marley and I had a nice driving lesson where I received some good instruction and practice using a driving whip and keeping communication with the lines while driving him through big puddles (remember...Marley doesn't like water).
- I attended an interesting rein board training class designed to help driving students learn to hold the lines and use a driving whip, while keeping proper contact...without actually driving a real, live horse. Driving lines attached to weighted ropes and pulleys simulate the feel of a horse at the end of the lines. Here is an example. In our class, we didn't have an actual board that the pulleys were attached to. We tied pulleys onto a hitching rail. It's a good way to practice (without annoying and confusing your poor horse) and see the affect you have when you lengthen and shorten your lines. Then try to use a driving whip and watch what happens to the weights as you "drive".
- Marley and I attended a 2 day trail riding clinic. It was a lot of fun and we played with many interesting obstacles. Marley is great walking over a teeter-totter bridge and passing through swim noodles suspended from a frame. And he absolutely loved pushing around the giant soccer ball as I rode him toward it. First he nudged it gently with his nose; the ball rolled forward slightly, then back into his face. How rude of it! So he gave it an aggressive nudge the next time and sent it rolling forward. We followed after the ball and Marley kept pushing it forward like he wasn't gonna let some giant 6 foot tall beach ball get the better of him.
- I took a riding lesson on Misty with a new instructor last week and she pointed out many things I need to improve upon. My biggest challenge is to ride with loose reins and get off of Misty's mouth before she gets irritated and starts developing behavior problems.