The days are starting to shorten, the sun is taking longer to rise in the mornings and the darkness settles in a tad sooner as the final days of summer approach. I like this time of year almost as much as spring when everything is budding and waking from winter.
Many people around here have cut hay the past couple days, I am relieved to say that for the moment, my hay is taken care of. Hay has been a challenge and a bit of a struggl this year. We made it on several farms, and getting weather to make it has been rough. The older equipment we run does the job, but sometimes we have breakdowns that take a day or so to get needed parts orderded and in. We have been blessed enough to slowly begin to upgrade, and each year we make improvements, and I learn a little more about how to talk to the machines that provide for my herd over the winter.
The past few weeks, the project horses I have been lucky enough to work with this season, have improved enough to go home or impress their owners, or both! Girlie went home riding nicely undersaddle, Miss Attitude in town surprised the socks off me today when she rode further down the rail than she has yet, and she got right on the trailer! These horses have come so far, and tried so hard. Not only have they taught me to work with other kinds of horses and have helped me grow as a rider and as a horseman. I am finally mastering feeling the horse under me, and not just that its there, but feeling the way it moves, deepening my contact and communcation. Understanding how the horse moves and feels under you allows you to be in constant communication with them, knowing what they are going to do before they do it jsut by tension in their muscles or a change in their stride.
Horses give to pressure and can be worked with just by rewading them with the removal of pressure when the desired result is obtained. Miss Attitude has not wanted to load, but by using more patience than I ever thought I had, and working with her on getting over her fear of smacking her head on the trailer, she learned to give to the slightest pressure when getting on the trailer. By keeping her head lower, when she gave to pressure verses raising her head in refusal, she decided the trailer was not nearly as scary as she originally thought. Which was a gigantic victory!!
Any aspiring horsemen or women out there, I encourage you to enjoy the individual traits in each horse you get to work with. They are all idifferent, and they all have something new to teach us. Take your time and nd take it one day at a time. The end result witll be worth it!