Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day with hubby and horse

So far today promises to be the perfect Valentine's Day. I got to sleep in and catch up on the sleep I've missed the last few nights because of work. Hubby even snuggled with me, which makes sleeping in that much better! After we got up, we went out for brunch, and then straight over to the barn. Tonight we plan to eat our favorite casual dinner and watch one of our favorite movies.

We didn't stay long at the barn — it was a little cold for Michael's tastes (he's not fond of visiting the barn, so being cold just adds insult to injury) — but the perfect Valentine's Day just had to include a little time with my horse. To make up for the shortage of time, I did the same thing I did on Thursday, and just practiced hand-walking Panama in the field across the street.

Once again, we went a little farther, and I spent some time acquainting Panama with another of the random fences that enclose (presumably) broadcasting equipment in the field. I knocked on the fence a couple of times, which startled him a bit but not bad. When I pointed at the fence (i.e., tapped it with a finger), he always sniffed it obligingly (just like a dog — haha!), so he apparently wasn't holding a grudge against it.

We aren't totally done despooking, though. I noticed that if I tried to position Panama between me and the fence, he stood almost on top of me in order to keep his distance from the fence. The last thing I want is for him to freak out about a fence when we are riding in the field, so we'll revisit the fence thing next time we go for a walk in the field.

All in all, though, I think we are making good progress with the field. Panama tends to be on alert out there, but not spooky. Now I know this could change when I'm riding him — when I'm standing next to him I think he feels more comfortable, probably because he is able to read my body language and take comfort from my presence better than when I'm on his back.

I think we are ready for the next step: lunging him in the field. Hopefully I'll have enough time tomorrow to try it!

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