I'm not a big fan of the dark. I mean, really, not a fan. If you'd asked me a week ago the only thing I can imagine worse than the dark house is going out into the dark pasture. There are animals out there and even though my rational brain tells me that they are more afraid of me then I am of them it doesn't always help. I've read far too much horror fiction. Coyotes infested with evil indian gods are not afraid of people (thank you S. King), and I'm pretty sure a zombie deer would come after you too (thanks Walking Dead). Now, I know there aren't really evil indian gods or zombies lurking in the pasture but there's some primal part of my brain that just isn't buying it. I like to think I have a strongly developed flight or fight instinct.
This last week and a half I've been faithfully out to check on December at 5 AM and between 5-6 PM. Given everything above I never would have imagined I could make it out to the barn in the dark. There are no lights out there at all. I have to take a flashlight which barely illuminates the path. In the beginning I took the dogs everytime and sometimes the kids too but now I don't always even though they do make me feel better when the come. Regardless of how I feel about the dark, or the large animal I heard take off through the field this morning but didn't see, it's all been worth it. I think that mare is actually getting better and I'm thrilled.
Last night she ate about 10 quarts of pellets, I'll need to weigh them but I'm thinking its close to 15 lbs. Plus she ate all of her beet pulp and rice bran mix. That's the most feed she's eaten so far.
And I had a really nice ride on Tax. I love it when things finally click and all of a sudden something you struggled so hard with seems so easy you can't figure out why it was so hard before. I used to think his canter was awful and that I'd never learn to sit down and move with him. Know what did it? I just needed to roll my legs out a little and keep his inside shoulder up with my calf at the girth. Now I like cantering him even though it's still more work then on most horses.
Tonight hopefully I will be riding Charlie. Our first ride didn't go so well and ended with him falling on me...well not ended, I did get back on for a minute just to prove to both of us I would. Since then I went back to the beginning and I've been working hard on ground work and making sure he respects me and the fact that I tell him where to go before I get back on him. I think he was still just adjusting to a new place and person. At least that's what I hope. I've never seen him act like that before so it caught me off guard. Why do I always have to learn things the hard way?