Thursday, August 30, 2012

Just Add Water

That's really how it felt yesterday, taking Saxony to our trainer's barn. I've never had her trailered anywhere. Would she load? Yes, she would, and she did. During the hour-long drive, she plucked at her hay net and stayed balanced and steady. She backed out of the trailer calmly.

Somehow, I swelled with pride walking her into the big, double-sided barn, even as she was offering all sorts of vocal stylings. For a grown mare, she has a baby-girlish voice full of squeals, squees and trills.

The barn is intimidating to me because it is so moneyed. Still, I've quashed that anxiety in myself for what my lessons give me. Last week I was invited to do a little trunk show of things from my Etsy shop, and the money was out in dining, deco and bling. Unless I was talking with someone about some fascinating old photograph or bit of equine ephemera, I blanched and hung back with the friends who'd come along to help. But having Saxony there at the barn changed that shyness for me. She's my peeps, I guess; I breathed easier. 

After we settled her in a stall, I sat down to watch B ride her own horse, listening down the aisle all the while for sounds from Saxony. She'd paw the floor from time to time, but was mostly silent, sampling the new hay. At some point, though, my instructor calmly remarked that Saxony had gotten out of her stall. She calmly remarked that. And yes, Saxony, unused to stall guards, had simply pushed through hers and wandered in search of my voice. I started to my feet and there she was, looking at me almost longingly. I took her back to her stall and closed the door behind us to linger with her for a while. She snuffled her hay and I just stood there stroking her shoulders and back.

After my friend S had her lesson and I'd finished mine, B surprised me by suggesting we start Saxony right then. Saxony was quite startled, herself. It's not a very good picture - I was too engaged and excited to pay attention to my camera.

It's not a day spa? Really?

And I felt, driving away from the barn at the end of a long day, many things. One, that it was the first all-horse day I've had in a such a long time. How wonderful they are, those days. Two, one chapter has ended completely and another has begun, a new chapter, fresh and only just hinting at what it contains. Three, the third, that I never rushed, never hurried, never commented in my own head about every step along the way. I took my horse where we will be for a while and all of it was good.

(I'm going to write my way through this big, new experience of taking a horse for training, but I can't begin in earnest until the festival where I work wraps up its season. I won't see Saxony for six days now, which means I'll miss five of her training sessions, but I'll be writing about all of it after that.)


~Allison said...

I'm new to your blog, but interested in reading about Saxony's training! She reminds me a bit of my mare, who actually tried to crawl under her stall guard for a single piece of hay.
Love the photo of her, she looks like "I'm here to so WHAT??"

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping you have the same great experience working with your horse and your trainer that I did with my two. If it works well, it can really improve things for both of you.