Tonight's episode is brought to you by the letter "D".
Seems I'm not the only fan of Sesame Street. Monday night, Sammie conjured up the above adjectives in our workout, reminding me of what used
to be one of my favorite childhood TV shows. I should have predicted the outcome. It was so predictable that it was practically scripted. But what seems patently obvious in hindsight is somehow not evident in the moment.
You might recall from my last post that I finally figured out that Sammie could, and would, respect my leg when I began wearing spurs. After our successful series of lessons and workouts, I gave Samba a much-deserved day off on Sunday. Meg and I had scheduled extra lessons all week, in anticipation of the upcoming Thanksgiving week, when Meg would have flown home for the holiday. Our plans were soon dashed, however, when I discovered a series of bumps on Sammie's shoulder as I groomed her for our Monday lesson. At first, I assumed she had just been bitten by a bug. But no. More lumps and bumps became evident as I kept brushing, several of which were along Sammie's back, right where the saddle would put pressure. HIVES!
Riding was out of the question. Night after night, nothing but longeing. Good workouts for Sammie, but I itched to ride. The vet came out Friday and left some antihistamine. With any luck, I would be able to ride by Monday.
Saturday was another day of no work for Sammie, after five solid days of longeing. I planned on working her Sunday, but the best plans backfire. Sunday turned out to be the day set aside for Sammie to be clipped. Her winter coat had grown in, and she needed to shed the shaggy mess. As Sammie had never before been clipped, I felt that standing still and behaving for the girl doing the clipping was enough for one day. No sense taxing her baby mind beyond that.
So on Monday, I drove to the barn and took Sammie out to begin grooming her. She was definitely not happy about leaving her dinner. She looked adorable, all clipped. But the sun had set, and the temperature was beginning to drop as a gentle breeze began to stir. I just knew that Samba would be full of herself. I prepared to longe her in the roundpen, where I could exercise at least a modicum of control over her antics. When I learned that the roundpen was not lit, I felt a sense of dread rise in my throat. Sammie, naked in the outdoor arena, where she had plenty of room to be naughty? This was a recipe for disaster.
Sure enough (and likely 99% self-fulfilling prophecy) Sammie was a pistol. After a few minutes of trying to control her bolting, bucking, semi-rearing antics, I just gave up. I was alone, and she was starting to scare me. I was more afraid she would do something to hurt herself, not me. But either way, I'm sure she sensed that and capitalized on it. So I unhooked the side reins, attached the longe line as a lead rope, and we walked around the arena...walk/halt, plus a little trot on the lead line...just reestablishing the rules. She finally relaxed long enough for me to relax, and we had a few minutes of nice peaceful listening and following. When I put her up and went home, I was ready to cry. This night felt like such a step backwards! But last night, I met up with Lisa and shared the story with her. She (as always!) reminded me about how far we've come, and congratulated me to taking a difficult situation and controlling it. There are worse things than changing your plans from a longeing session to a walk/halt training session!
Today, I'm heading to the barn for a DAYTIME workout in the roundpen, followed by (I hope) Sammie's first ride since the hives hit. Fingers crossed the bumps are history, along with Sammie's 'tude!
From my blog: Green on Green