Last weekend when I went to the barn, I had a challenging ride on Kasane. It had been weeks since I had asked her to do any real work. All I wanted was to keep an even tempo. I hurt from being sensitive on my neck and lower back due to the injuries from the accident back in December. Any way, we ended up having a productive ride at the end, but it was frustrating for both of us.
I went out to the field the day after that ride, and Kasane walked away from me. She didn’t really even look at me. That was enough of a statement. The way the ride turned out had stuck with me: I kept thinking about it. Thinking about what could be done different, what I needed to work on (like communication and our relationship).
So I backed off completely. The farrier came today and Kasane was given a little of the Vita Calm. It’s a calming supplement that we give her every time she has her feet done to help take the edge off. I took her out to the ring and lunged her a little before the farrier arrived. Usual stuff to help her get the extra energy out before we have to stand still for an hour while she gets front shoes. She fidgeted a lot and pulled back some one her front legs when the farrier was hammering in nails. She hasn’t done that in quite a while (maybe three shoeings ago). I asked her to focus on me and for the most part it worked. She didn’t actually pull away from the farrier, but she shifted her weight back a few times. I also asked the barn owner for a little help (since she was the one who showed me the trick for helping a horse focus).
I stood with Kasane in her stall and didn’t really feel connected to her. After turning her out, I walked back to her pasture. She looked up at watched me. I picked up half a flake of hay and she nickered then walked over. I gave her a handful and her pasture mates some. We stood there for 15-20 minutes, with me stroking her neck while she finished every little piece of hay. I made sure the other mares didn’t get into her hay pile or chase her. She finished every scrap and then chose to stay with me instead of walking off into the pasture.
The barn owner came out to get another mare for the farrier. This was He Who Brings Food. She watched him when he walked past and when he came back with Diva. She never left my side.
I felt so happy.