Riding log day 17–2/21/2020. Snaffle, English saddle. Melting snow with some ice.
Back to a reasonable approximation of normal life the day after getting back from the RadCon/Portland trip disruption. The horses were up around the fence, and Mocha’s head shot up when I called her while pulling her halter off of the gate. She walked partway to me, then waited because the yearlings had decided to mug me for scratches and beg for cookies. They got their scratches but no cookies. This batch is very friendly and social, and will walk up to me to have their heads scratched as well as their neck and withers. The fact that it’s warming up and that long hair is getting itchy doesn’t hurt, either.
Mocha’s still not releasing any more than a handful of hairs yet, but it’s clear that shedding is not far off. Her coat just has that look. I decided that the next decent sunny riding day is going to start by not just clipping her bridle path but trimming the long hairs on her throatlatch, windpipe, and chest. It’s time, and those are the places that sweat the worst on warmer days with any exertion.
We started off by shooing away a new horse who apparently LOOOOVES Mocha. He nickers at her, tries to follow us, and when she was turned loose, trotted out to join her and her buddy. She seems to tolerate him when it’s just her and Sweetie, but if I’m around and dispensing treats, ear-pinning grouchy mare happens. When we were done discouraging him from trailing along behind us, though, Mocha let it be known that she was in March Mare Mood and did not want to settle into work. She wanted to run. I did let her do two fence lengths of canter, on opposite leads, and March Mare Moment meant she wanted to take the lead SHE wanted to take, so discussions happened. Then we settled into serpentine work at walk and trot, followed by two-tracking before a spell of loose rein. Then we did a decent backing in figure 8. Even though she was grumpy about it, at least this time the circles matched…yay. Followed with spirals in and out and bowties, with appropriate long rein walk spells. Ended with the line of shoulder and haunch turns, and then it was four lengths at the canter. Of course she wanted to insist that the leads were HER choice, not MINE, so we Had A Discussion. All typical March Mare. Ended with spins, still better going to the right than the left.
But she was not gimping like last time, and she had good energy throughout.
I attribute March Mare to itchy skin and seasonal hormonal stuff. She’s sweating enough that combined with hair that’s ready to shed makes her really itchy. I pulled off her halter during the post-ride groom to give her face a thorough brushing. Horsey bliss, with half-closed eyes, soft expression, head extended toward me and leaning into the brush.
Overall a good day.