Boy it feels good to be back in the box seat once again. After nearly two weeks of nothing (aside from a few errant lunges, including one super zoomy one yesterday), our weather and my schedule have magically combined to allow for some actual drive time. Hooray!
In order to try and make up for time lost, I am going to have to get creative in our workouts. I might not have enough drive days in a week right now to allow for a dressage day, a cones day, an obstacles day, an endurance day.... but I might be able to do some dressage and cones in the same session, or some endurance and dressage in the same session. Today I was able to do three things at once - some dressage work, some whip training, AND was able to toodle around the field across the street going around obstacles. Previously, the field across the street was kind of driving taboo because a) something about it spooks her to death and I risk her killing us, and b) it's super bouncy and rutty out there. All of our lunging over there seems to have paid off, and I was able to take a loop around the field today with no problems on a loose rein. I can't go faster than a walk, and I can't do it for longer than a short session, but there are a lot of jumps and logs out there that will be great for hazard training. The neighbor's idiot galloping horses are still spook-worthy, and the dogs rustling through the very tall grasses are still scary, but I think it's just one of those things she is going to have to get over. I can diffuse just about any spook she has under saddle, but learning how to diffuse them while driving has been harder. She's not spooky, and not a big spooker, but she is looky and likes to visually take everything in. If she looks at something for too long without her energy being redirected elsewhere, she tends to blow things out of proportion in her mind, and they become scary. And, admittedly, rustling predators that you can't see in the long grasses ARE actually scary, so it's hard to blame her for that.
She was perfect for her small bit of dressage work - just taking a contact and working on smooth transitions, which she was lovely for. I was also able to do a bit of whip work with her, which went super well. She can be whip shy, especially if you are carrying any sort of emotion when you are holding a whip, so the blinders are really beneficial for her - she can't see the whip twirling about behind her, she just feels it on her sides whenever I use it. I'm pretty sure I will rarely, if ever, need to use the whip to get her to go forward, but it is helpful with isolating side-to-side work. All it takes is a light brush with the long lash, and that's it - there is no need to tap or use it any harder than that.
The trip around the field was the icing on the cake. No spooking, no problems, all on a long rein. Not bad!
After that lovely drive, she had a bath, and then she proceeded to pitch an enormously huge fit in the barn while on the Theraplate because she was wet and she wanted to go outside RIGHT NOW. Mares...
I am also SUPER EXCITED because I managed to get my nice camera working again. I love photography and I am terrible at it, but I will absolutely shamelessly take millions of photos of my critters to endless spam you all with.