OK, her shoes are back on, and it’s been over two weeks since I’d last hopped on Miss Fillyface, so as you can probably imagine, I was itching to get on her last night. Practically jumping out of my skin to ride! I’d ridden my horse a few times, to be fair, but I do love this girl and I couldn’t wait to swing up there and get some positive work done.
Of course, after I got her into the barn and started tacking up, rain started hitting the roof. Then there was a low rumble of thunder.
Hmmmmm. I’m not big on riding during storms, but I knew she’d been in the indoor during very bad weather before, so it probably wouldn’t phase her too much.
By the time I got on, it was starting to pour. You couldn’t hear much of anything in the ring, but she seemed to be OK with the whole thing and was calm, so I went ahead and got started. She felt a bit stiff, actually, so I spent a lot of time at the walk and trot doing some lateral work and inviting her to stretch out a bit, which she did, despite the increasing severity of the storm raging outside.
I dropped back to the walk frequently, and asked her to do some spiral-in/spiral-out, and really start using her back end properly. Of course this is hard for her, so after about ten minutes of working on that, I decided to call it quits so we could finish on a good note.
At pretty much that exact moment, the hail started. My feet hit the dirt and I had one stirrup run up when the hail REALLY started. If you thought heavy rain was thunderous on a metal-roofed indoor, it has NOTHING on hail. It was coming down so hard you couldn’t see the trailer parking from the ring – the air appeared almost solidly white. The sound in the ring was like nothing I’ve really heard before, and I couldn’t even hear myself think.
Naturally, I was upset. And even more naturally, Cadence was really upset. So for the first time, I got to see what Cadence’s “really upset” looks like. Her eyes got wide, she looked scared, and she commenced to trot in circles around me. She looked scared out of her mind, but that was it. No bolting, no pulling, nothing bad, just trotting circles. She was too freaked to stand still, but trusted my hands on the reins nonetheless, and settled as I walked with her, so that she could move forward instead of going in a tight circle.
I talked to her, but couldn’t hear my own voice over the endless crashing on the roof. She settled before the cacophony actually stopped, which was good. I’m glad I didn’t try to hold her still, I think that would have just panicked her – getting to move and getting reassurance seemed to be all she needed (and it’s a lot easier on my arms, and my nerves, as well!)
I’m actually pretty impressed – I’m pretty sure my own horse would have lost his gourd in there! That she handled a pretty terrifying (heck, seriously, I was skeered, I can’t imagine how a horse would feel about all that!) situation pretty easily strikes me as a very good thing. I think if I had still be on her, it would have been fine too. 🙂 She’s such a good girl – you just don’t get a brain like this all that often.
And I’m also pleased to report she is packing on some weight (yay!!!!). Her topline has chunked out, and her width has increased (as measured by how high I can get the girth, heh). Now I just need to get the rest of that winter hair off and she will be stunning soon!