Cool, overcast morning - so different from the southwest gales blowing waves through the pastures yesterday! Decided it was time to shuffle the herd and get a little more focused on who gets/needs what work, so Gypsy and Maisy are being left to their own devices in the east pasture while Ranger and Brisa are stuck in the north paddock. Last time I isolated Brisa in the paddock, she ran the fenceline and whinnied for a week straight. Continued to fuss and fidget pretty much the entire time she was by herself, especially when the others went over the rise and out of sight. This time she's with Ranger, so she's as calm and cool as any horse I've ever seen. Loving the easy access to water, the frequent treats and attention, everything. (Funny thing is, outside the pasture she's solid by herself. It's not being alone she minds, so much - it's being alone and locked in.)
Ranger, on the other hand, is pretty sure his world is ending. He'll get over it. I hope.
I knew he had regressed some in the past year, and I was prepared to revisit the basics. I was a little appalled at exactly how far he has regressed. Totally my fault! And also a serious kick in the ass. He's too much horse to wander around aimlessly, I think. I just... I don't know what we really want to do, or can do, or should do. So, I guess for now we work with what we have and build towards... more?
In any case, today I accomplished what I set out to do. Tacked up Brisa, fiddled around with fit and pads and so forth and so on. I'd forgotten how hard biothane is to adjust once you've got the buckles set. And Gypsy is a far different horse than Brisa - looks like I might have to invest in a separate set of biothane so I don't have to spend twenty minutes switching sizing from one mare to the other. Oy! But Brisa stood perfectly still the entire time I messed with her breastcollar and girth - even when Ranger threw a farting fit at the other end of the paddock. Considering she hasn't been ridden since late last summer, I was super impressed with her retention and focus. She has matured so much! (And now I knock wood so I don't jinx it and have a rodeo on my hands tomorrow.)
Then I had Taryn lead her around, mostly working on communication. Brisa is totally tuned to my cues and a little fuzzy with the translation when it's someone else on the other end of the lead rope, so it was good practice for her and Taryn both. I remain impressed by her general attitude - she's stubborn and unforgiving, sometimes, but once she gets the point of an exercise (and discovers there's a reward in it for her) she is totally game.
Ranger did get interested, by the end, and came over to investigate. Ran out of time to work him, but this weekend I'll give him a turn.
Ran out of time for words today. Last minute trip to town for birthday supplies, farm errands, picking up MIL from her appointment, and cleaning took up more time and energy than I'd expected.
Plan for tomorrow:
Alec's birthday. Having several 12 year olds over for a campout/cookout. Luckily my brother is here to shoot off fireworks and rockets, and we have hundreds of water balloons. But I'll be busy cleaning, cooking, corralling wild boys, etc. Hope everything goes smoothly!