Monday, September 8, 2014

Join Us For A Sweet Soft Ride

 Howdy Friends!

Air so light it lifted leaves, spider webs, spirits and bird song. Kessy and I set out yesterday for day 9 of her (and my) restart. Her response to the past 3 weeks of ground work, release and relax exercises is amazing. Briefly I'd like to mention I'd been less than diligent about them for months before my cardiac adventure, and then of course the 4 months of my own rehab, while she looked just fine, she had regressed to a condition not of the best for her, or any horse. But these past 3 weeks have brought a wonderful transformation in her attitude, self awareness, and softness. I only share this because while it is true horses keep themselves in condition if allowed room to roam, have good nutrition and care, it is also true, we can, and I believe are obligated to, help them be even better.
Viewing the world from the best of all seats! Kessy is picking her way along the trail.
We had progressed to a 40 minute ride and enjoyed all her sweet gaits, and I noticed a new softness in her stride and response to cues. Softer even than before our hiatus. I've been mixing in a few exercises I had not been able to do with Kessy for some time because of my own health hiccups, and have become very excited at her responses. Each day she seems more nimble than the day before, and more thoughtful.

The sweet morning air had us gliding along listening to warbles and wrens; on Kessy's light-footedness we floated like bird song. There is a short trail we haven't visited since April that travels along a ravine loaded with wildflowers, birds and beauty. Having missed all the Spring flowers, butterflies and birds, I longed to see it this glorious morning. It was a bit farther, not by much, than I planned to take Kessy today, but the morning so sweet, Kessy so soft, I decided we would go.

We were not disappointed! The fall wildflowers were splendid, even a few butterflies sported their grace. Two busy turkeys ran the trail ahead of us. We paused to soak in the serenity of it all. Back up on the logging road Kessy slipped into her running walk. I could not resist cueing her left and right in a gentle sweeping slalom type course, just to enjoy her eagerness and response to the softest cue, and because it's another great exercise. She's always been great, but Saturday and yesterday I felt, even for her, a lighter, softer touch. I attribute it to the dedication to the exercises.

By my own restart schedule yesterday should have been a 45 minute ride, but our little excursion made it exactly an hour. We'll take today off ... except for the exercises.

Gitty Up ~ Dutch Henry