The Bit…… suspend your disbelief for a second…
Do you believe in magic? I do, now…… went to the barn… got Cato…… and the wind kicked up some GIANT gusts….. omg. I am watching Cato’s mane and tail ( heavy black hair) FLY in the wind. We get into the indoor arena and the sounds the wind is making is like a dying wild animal…. or someone dropping giant chunks of concrete on the metal roof– you know the sounds. Everything that CAN flap, is flapping wildly in the wind. Cato and do our arena at liberty work; he is in attentive, spooking once or twice every ring around the small indoor arena and… I HAD planned to meet Sue Preston to ride at JBLM– a giant plain and forests wide open to the world bounded by ROADS and military stuff on every side…. Hmmm. I tap my mental finger on my chin… and so starts the self-talk, that leetle voice in my head– you likely have one too..
* should I really do this?* * would a smart person get ON this horse today or bag the plans?* What should I do????????? I look at Cato, I count the days left that I have with him and I ask myself * what do Cato and Amanda need most from me?*. My answer? They need Cato to be ridden under EVERY possible circumstance, under any kind of conditions, and just deal with whatever comes. Ok, then, we are GOING. I confess to a small bit of Tummy Twitters– otherwise known as the butterflies. Now, here is where the magic comes in… bit ( hahahah BIT) of a backstory– recall that Celena Pentrak changed bits on Cato at our first lesson? you ask, what did Eileen do with Amanda’s bit? I actually remembered to get it near my truck and trailer… but, I tossed it on the metal toolbox… and then after the lesson I drove away, forgetting about the bit; dammmmmiT! I confess to Amanda…. and start looking to replace her bit…….we chat, she says to wait n see……. sage advice. Because when I walk by Cato’s stall away from home at Maple Tree Stables? his bit is hangin on his stall halter holdre; I do a double take, REALLY? can I get that LUCKY? Wheeeeee! Turns out Bernie found it when walking Kai, his lovely Corgi doggy in the neighborhood!!!!! I am SAVED!!!! and I take it as a good omen that JBLM is gonna be a GRAND ADVENTURE….. Cato loads like a champ and we are on our way. The wind gusts about the truck and trailer as we make our way through Lacey and out to JBLM, I gnaw my lower lip- How MUCH do I want to trust my good bit omen? Then, I remember something someone reminded me of recently— that horses will feed off my energy…. OOPS! If I expect Cato to be bad, he will be bad. IF I, however, expect Cato to be good and do what I say, well that is what shall happen instead! Yeah, so about Rich Road, I start self-talk again…Cato will do everything I tell him, I will be able to stay on during any spook-o-rama and we WILL WILL WILL have a great time; I mean, the sun is shining….. how cool is THAT! We arrive at TA 22, one of my newest fave places to ride as it fast, flat and well-drained and excellent footing! Cato and I get dressed; the wind is HOWLING and GUSTING, oh well, can’t be helped…. he seems fine! 32 HR….. he is NOT upset….. more about Cato’s upset HR later…. and away we GO! I know Cato’s not very fit yet as he huffs and puffs on hills… we shall see how he does on the flat.
We set off and immediately Sue gets a phone call– ironically, this is my friend Sue, whom I have know for a long long long time who used to say she hated that we carried cell phones….. and since she has now started her business Vet in Motion, Mobile Vet, Sue has a new cell phone and she stops and tries to take the call…. 🙂 yeah, I’m smiling…. we start out, again… and Cato? has decided he does NOT want to walk through puddles. OMG…. REALLY? Seriously you huge galoot of a horse? I JUST bragged about what a great trail horse you are and that you *goe where I point you* and you pull this NOW? Humph, no way Cato….. you ARE going through the puddles, for heaven’s sake!… and we did and he did. Hmmmph! Sheesh, horse. and off we trot….. planning 10+ miles…we head down trails that we have never done before — if you see the map and follow our tracks, we went down every turn, and came back when stopped by tree-fall. Then,we found ourselves on a road that *felt* like it would take us back to the trailers, but I was uncertain whether it would and since I had a class to teach….. we opted to go back and hit a trail we knew would take us back. So, all this time, I am grabbing mane, because, IF Cato decides to Mega SPOOK at speed, I am unsure if I can ride it, so, I grab mane SHAMElessly. Until I really get to know this horse? I shall grab mane at speed….as an extra precaution. He does little spooklets at …. yeah, wood on the ground… yeah…. wood on the ground. But, as I told Amanda, he gave himself away when I dropped something important on the ground and had to get off to get it and had to find SOMETHING to get me in the air more to get back on…. I chose a giant log stump and the damn thing rolled OUT from underneath me on to Cato’s front feet and he….. wait for it………. WAIT for it…… and he JUST STOOD there! ah HA! a giant log almost rolls on TOP of you and you do NOTHING? and then you try to tell me you want to spook at a much smaller log, further away from you… on the way by? YOU are SO HOSED big guy
:-)….I have your number BIG time! No excuses at ALL….. NONE! 🙂 bwahhahahaha hahahahahah; as a former high school teacher, I do enjoy that moment when you get something over on someone and they know you know…. 🙂 yeah….I don’t actually play chess? but I think I play *horse chess* really well….
Mostly, though….. we are trotting in lovely flowing strides through a lovely park-like place, gettin’ some miles on the boy…. as Amanda, his mom, requested we do.
One of the things I love about JBLM are the lovely glades of green grass where horses can gnosh on green grass in the sun…. while riders can relax a bit…. This last bit ( bit!!!) I told Sue I wanted her to lead…. and then I increased the distance between us little by little…. at the point she went out of sight is when Cato’s HR went boing boing boing pound pound pound pound… omg…. he is physiologically reacting to the other horse being gone. We did one nose to kneee and he settled down…… then after the last greengrass break I told Sue I was gonna walk Cato in; she asked if I would be *OK* if she trotted in….. I said, *maybe, we shall see*. When she left him his heart started pounding AGAIN! That is amazing….. he really is going into *fight or flight response* good to know! So, based on Celena’s training we walked the OTHER way, easily, no big deal….. push through and use the resistance. until the HR came down….. then we easily and slowly, so so so CHILL….. like Celena said….turned around and walked in. at 5min after coming in he was at HR 52. I was delighted, I was happy, I was sparkly eyed. WE DID IT! YEAH, ARM PUMP! and we did not die or anything close to it; Amanda got 16miles on her big guy at an average of 6.1 mph…. not too bad considering everything, eh? Here’s our link, route and map…. ENJOY!