Sometime around 3:00 yesterday I headed off down the road to 'work Snip'. Snip was already in the pens. (I think he must come for water around that time.) So I grabbed my lead rope and stepped into the pen. He looked at me funny as I clipped the lead onto his bossel (that's a halter with a heavy twisted piece over the nose--supposedly it is to make them pay attention better because it hurts worse when it gets jerked). He was like: "Hey, what's this? Where's the food?" *hee hee*
I lead him out of the pens over to the feed/tack shed and brushed him off before putting the saddle on. Then I slipped the bossel off and started attempting to put the bit in. HA! I must have fought him for at least 15 minutes and got my toes stomped on in the process. I decided that I had better put the bossel back on him and leave him tied up while I put the bit in. That worked, even though I still had to fight him some. I led him over to the gate into the back pasture and tied him up there and started to walk off (I needed to do something else real quick). Well now, that horse doesn't like being tied up without me there, so he started backing up. I heard the noise and turned around...to see that bit hanging out of his mouth!! "What in the world! How'd he do that?" I stamped back over to him and got him calmed down, untied the reigns from the fence post and grabbed hold of the bossel and took him back to the shed. (Oh, yes, I also unhooked the headstall from around his ears.) (By the way, I have heard somewhere, that you should never, ever tie your horse up by the reigns...supposedly you should always carry your lead rope to tie him up with ((this would require always leaving the bossel or halter on)), but since I don't usually do much on/off tying up stuff I've never bothered.)
I plopped down in the doorway to the shed and surveyed the damage...he'd broke the cheek piece. (Actually, I'm not sure that it wasn't already broken.) After trying a few different ways I got it buckled back together. I jerked on it pretty stoutly to make sure it would hold before putting it back in Snip's mouth. Needless to say, he wasn't too keen on the idea. Blah! You will be pleased to note that I only got the tiniest bit irritated at all this. And that was mainly when I was trying to put the bit in the first time around, spinning around and trying to get Snipper's head down and sort of hold it between my knees and get my fingers in his mouth all at the same time :)
Finally, I got on him and we took off for the front pasture...I haven't ridden him in there since I've been back. We did some turning work and 'do what I ask!' work. (You'll notice, if you ever research horse training or listen to a professional talk, that they always 'ask' the horse to do something. If he does what you ask, you 'reward' him. This could be as simple as letting up the pressure. Unfortunately, I forget sometimes.) Because there really isn't quite enough room to do what I wanted, I rode him out of the front pasture and over to the back pasture gate (which I forgot to close when I was done...something you're not supposed to do! By the time I remembered, the cows were already in there.) I had to get off and open the gate (he likes to crowd me sometimes when I'm messing with gates...sometimes he gets popped in the nose by accident). Once I got back on him I had to fight him almost all the way to the back...he wanted to quit, you see :) So I cajoled and kicked (spurs are nice things) and pulled and scolded. This really isn't fun for either of us.
Finally, we got out far enough that I could start really working with him...trot, turn, stop, back up. Repeat. I found myself explaining what and why I was doing something to an imaginary audience. I often talk out loud anyway when I ride so it didn't bother Snip all that much :) I rode for over an hour, I think, and tried to keep my seat and confidence intact. I think that once my legs get stronger again, the confidence that I feel is lacking will return. (I mean, I was galloping all out last spring without the least fear...make that except when turning :) I sometimes was unsure as to how quickly he would respond to the turn signal...)
While I was riding, there were two Cessna's flying about. I waved a couple of times...not knowing whether or not that was Daddy and Granddaddy I was waving at and kept riding. As I was working back towards the pens (I do this slowly so Snip doesn't get immediate gratification...you know, "Oh! We're going in!!" ZIP and we're there. No, that would be bad :] ), I looked up and there was a plane flying low! "It's Daddy!" I janked off my hat and waved. I know that he saw me, because he dipped his wings slightly. Snip was getting ancy and I would have kept waving, but I had to go back to horse control. (The noise my hat makes waving in the air is enough to bother him...his ears go back and start to twitch as he tries to figure out what that noise is.)
I managed to clean Snip's hooves (they need to be trimmed, but I can't do that). One of them had a stick stuck in it so it was a good thing that I did decided to go ahead and clean his feet. It was hilarious...Snip was standing there with his eyes shut, apparently sleeping on his feet while I 'groomed' him. (I don't really consider it grooming...I don't work at it hard enough.) I wore that poor horse out :) Good. He needs it since he's gotten so lazy...
As for me, my left knee hurt when I got off (it was just tired and stiff...I walked it out after a short time). This morning I'm a tad stiff in the back, in a good kind of way. I have to go to therapy today and get more pain inflicted on my hand. Yehaw. But it's good for me so I won't complain :) See you later...