Play Date August 2009

Julie-on-teeter-totterBoy, were we lucky with the weather for our August play date at the ranch.  Last week had record high temperatures, but it cooled down this week so we had a lovely day.

We started out doing ground work in the trail course.  I was playing with my 4 year old, Prince.  It was really interesting to see what he could offer easily and what caused him concern.  Backing up and down the stairs?  OK.  Circling over the ends of the teeter totter or standing on either end of the teeter totter, or even pushing down the high end of the teeter totter?  All OK.  Walking over the teeter totter? Not yet, Mom.  That was fine.  He was thinking, not trying to run me over and trying.  I want him confident and I’m happy to take as long as it takes.  Julie’s Rusty was the star on the teeter totter.  That LBE curiosity showed clearly.  With each try he gained confidence and in short order he was walking across the teeter totter with a confident expression on his face.  Namaste played dominance games when first asked to cross the bridge, but passive persistence practiced in the proper position convinced her that crossing the bridge was really not a bad idea.  Once her mind set changed, Grace took her through the car wash and Namaste was in a partner frame of mind, ready to ride.  Anthony brought his magnificent Percheron, Cole over for the first time.  Cole owned the bridge.  He was confident and I was delighted that the bridge was solid enough to hold his weight.  Danna’s Bel was a lot more confident with the obstacles this time around.  The harmony between the two of them is palatable.  Karen took photos of us playing.

We broke for our potluck lunch.  Gazpacho, pasta salad, chicken salad and chocolate chip cookie bars….. Yum!  Add horse talk with people I like and life is very good.

After lunch, we tacked up, hopped on our horses and played with some patterns in the arena.  Karen rode my Paso Fino mare Tori and while the patterns helped her to get in time with Tori’s shorter, quicker gait, Karen couldn’t help but miss her own Eva.  I hadn’t ridden Prince much this year, but he quickly demonstrated that he remembered and enjoyed doing the patterns.  It was funny.  I was demonstrating a zig-zag of leg yields down the long side of the arena and he was flowing from left to right to left.  I hadn’t gotten all the way down the rail when I decided we had demonstrated enough.  Prince politely disagreed and continued the pattern until he reached the far end of the arena.  After the horses were settled, we all did some riding in the pasture, with Karen and I playing point to point and Danna and Julie playing with the pond.

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