Short takes: yesterday’s ride

Blog fail yesterday. I was going to write a little bit about Mocha’s adventures, but between executing said adventures at the barn, and other stuff, just didn’t get to it.

But it was a nice afternoon–AFTER I had the heart-stopping moment of discovering her 50 lb salt block lying in her feed bucket. On the floor. I sifted through the bedding looking for the eye the feed bucket snap hung on, but nothing (any horseperson who’s had to deal with a hoof puncture from a nail knows that sick feeling). No one knows nuthin’ about how the big salt block got into her bucket, but she has a small owie on one hind. Trainer suggested in all seriousness that it was remotely possible that she could have knocked the bucket off of the wall, then put the salt block in it–well, she does play with the block, and she can be a fiddler. Still.

I didn’t boot her up, just went for a light conditioning ride. As expected, she was full of herself and wanted to run. After the downpours we’ve had here over the past week, seepage in the indoor means footing that isn’t the best. But we had a decent schooling, then went for a short hack outside. The puddles were full, and not only did we trot through them, we cantered them! She launches herself quite respectably into a jump at the edge of the puddle, lands, then canters on, as if she’s had eventer training. Then we met up with another horse and owner. Owner was muttering about horse not liking puddles, so back we went for Mocha to give this horse a lead through the puddles.

It’s amazing. The Stall Princess now does water. Not only that, she seems to like it these days.

Afterward, we joined the college class for some groundwork practice so she could dry off a little bit before I put her up. This class is a beginner group and some folks are pretty green and timid. I did show off during the ground-tying practice when I just dropped the rope, said “whoa,” and walked off.

It was also an excellent opportunity to practice squaring up at the halt. Not really a skill you need except for Showmanship classes, but it’s an excellent technique to get the horse to center in and focus on you, especially with other horses around.

Once her legs had dried off a bit, I spent some time on deep grooming. She’s still shedding out and her skin is scurfy and dry, with scaly patches. It doesn’t look like bugs, none of it is particularly itchy, especially on her legs, and it’s been a while since I’ve washed her. Next hot day when I have time, it’s bath time for the horsey girl, perhaps with some tea tree oil mixed in.

All in all, a nice horsey day.

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