Monday, February 16, 2015

The Barn is my happy place

Normally this is my space to really just focus on myself and Gwyn. But to put today in context, I think you need to know that early this morning I drove Eric to the airport and saw him off (with our two cats) to Detroit Michigan. He starts his new job with GM tomorrow morning. I'm staying in Washington until the movers come to pack up our house at the end of the month with Kaylee. So I'm single parenting it for the next 2 weeks.

We were exhausted after our early morning trip but I managed to nap while Kaylee watched some tv, then she managed to fall asleep in the car after I gave away our fish tank. We headed straight from there to the barn.

Being with Gwyn always puts me in my happy place and I think I'm going to need that a lot in the next two weeks. Today really helped and I had a great time. The sun was shining, it was mid 50s, a far cry from the frigid temperatures my husband is facing in Michigan.

Since Kaylee was asleep, I cracked the windows and left her there, checking periodically to see if she'd wake up. The horses had been brought in early (it was 3pm) because it was sunday limited barn staff/volunteers. That saved me time since Gwyn was already in her stall. I groomed her, and promptly got coated in horse hair. It's shedding season.  Yay.

A sure sign of Spring

My fuzzy beast

I lunged Gwyn (Kaylee still asleep) and she seemed to have a solid head on her shoulders today. She was listening to me immediately and really only had one goober moment that was entirely attributed to a spook and she calmed right down and refocused. I felt really good about my plan for the day based on her behavior. I really like using lunging as a gauge. It helps me assess what kind of ride I'm in for and I knew we were going to have a positive, minimal issue day.

After lunging I was really concerned that Kaylee was going to be waking up soon, so I took Gwyn out to my car to wake her up. She smiled immediately when she saw Gwyn was there and ready to go. We went into the barn together to get our helmets (she always insists, good habits start young!) and then I swung her into the saddle. With my stirrups up they're at a good height for her. She's too little to really do anything effectively, but she loves sitting up in the saddle and going for a ride. I was hoping more people would be around because I wanted to ride double, but that didn't seem to be in the cards.

This horse, man... I'm telling you, she knows. She knows that if she lets anything happen to my kid she's toast. This mare RELUCTANTLY moves when Kaylee is on her back. Quite a lot of urging is required to even move off and do a slow circle 4 feet away from me. She's always checking back with Kaylee and then with me. Her body language constantly reads "Are you sure I should keep walking? Positive?"  It's frustrating, but at the same time, completely endearing. My horse takes care of my kid. My horse is overprotective where I am, admittedly, rather lax. We're a good team, haha.

Anyway, while walking her around the indoor arena, the other rider went outside and onto the perimeter trail. Kaylee immediately pointed in that direction and told me we were going on a trail ride. Gwyn had been SO good that I thought, "Well, why not?"

So off we went.

She had a minor spook when we passed by the chicken coop but Kaylee just thought it was hilarious. We walked out to the wind destroyed pasture shelter then turned around. We detoured through the trail obstacles where Kaylee wanted to get off and Gwyn wanted to graze.

"Are you SURE we're going out this way? There are scary things out here that I don't want Kaylee to see and get scared by."

Kaylee took herself over the trail obstacles, then grazed and declared that she was a horse. 

I left her outside to play and hopped on with GPS running and managed .7 miles in the indoor and a circuit of the whole barn outside. Not bad for needing to constantly check on a 2.5 year old who was pretty done by then. It was such a lovely day and I feel like my balance is restored, I'm not as off kilter as I was at the airport earlier.  I can do this.

You can really see how much Gwyn checks in with me in this video. Also, I caught Kaylee asking to go on the trail.

In which Kaylee eats grass because she is a horse.

1 comment:

  1. Gwyn is SUCH a good girl! And yay for Kaylee for sitting a small spook and just laughing it off- I see a young talented rider in the making (: