So, it’s been raining off and on (mainly on) since Sunday. Although the new barn and indoor are coming along, they are not ready to move in yet. No indoor – no riding. But that doesn’t mean no barn time.
Today I took a trip down there just to groom my boy. I am very happy that I have a horse I like to be around. My last horse was no fun to hang out with. He didn’t want to have anything to do with me, didn’t particularly like being groomed, and always had his own agenda that my trips to see him got in the way of. He was the only of my horses that I didn’t get along with, but I learned a lot from the experience. The best lesson I think is that your relationship with your horse on the ground helps define your relationship under saddle.
I enjoy just spending time with PJ and I think he likes the attention from me. I also like riding him (I don’t think he particularly minds the work). On the flip side, I ask that he respects my space when around him, and under saddle I ask that he respects my aids. But also I respect him and try not to ask him to do anything he can’t or push him to hard or too long.
I believe that a lot of the problems people have when riding their horses can be solved if they only pay attention when interacting with them on the ground. A normal horse’s behavior won’t suddenly change with a rider on it’s back. For example, most spooky horses under saddle are jumpy when you lead them. But also if your horse doesn’t like you to use your left leg, pay attention when you groom his left flank; maybe he has something physical going on.
Although I’m hoping the sun comes back out soon, I really enjoyed just hanging out with PJ today. Days like today make me appreciate that I am able to have a horse, and I am particularly glad to have this one.