With the threat of severe thunderstorms for the past couple days, I have not ventured out to the barn. The other day the heat was severe, like melt your skin heat and humidity, and I was just too miserable to go out to the barn. Today, the promise of the coming storm is imminent and I am watching the trees outside sway back and forth in the wind.
So, with trips to the barn at a minimum this week, I really wanted to take the time to reflect and think about my feelings on Sunday. I really don't like talking about my feelings, but here goes. . .I admit, I was nervous (mostly about the cart class) because Shyloh is not a "steady Eddy" horse and her behavior reflects directly how she feels. And she was in heat. I would not call her dangerous, just maybe more than I am ready to handle sometimes. Shy knows that and uses it to her advantage.
But I was so busy getting Shy ready for her different classes that I really did not have time to think about being nervous. It was literally one class right after the other. When it was time to put her harness on and hook her to the cart, it came so fast I just got right down to business. That, and this was the second time I had put this harness on myself, had me scrambling to get it on right and get it checked.
Before I knew it, Beth was driving off with Shy to test her out in the ring. Besides jumping into the walk, which I think will be an ongoing issue every time we first start and I am just going to have to get used to it, Shy was so well behaved! I can't call her perfect because there is still lots we need to work on, but she was very in tune to what was asked of her and she did not spook. For some reason, I'm not sure if it all the horses, the people, the incredibly delicious grass, or the atmosphere, Shy is very comfortable at Harry Hughes. She has been that way since I first started bringing her down there.
While Beth was testing Shy out, she was laughing. For some reason, she is always laughing. I am not sure why, if Shy is trying to get away with something or what, but Beth makes it all look so easy. Then, I jumped in the cart. I got in without the usual feeling of dread that something bad was going to happen. Away we went and I did not hang on to the side of the cart for dear life nor did I jump out of my skin as we stepped off.
Next thing I knew, the lines where in my hands and I was driving my own horse! Without a pending sense of doom. I was actually relaxed and comfortable. I trusted Shy, something that I struggle with (funny since Shy was the one that came to me with the trust issues). Beth told me to trot her. Uh oh. . .I was not sure if I was prepared for that, but I asked for the trot anyway. And Shy kept walking. So I clucked and asked again. I got a few steps of trot that went straight down to a walk. Shy knew I was not sure of myself or serious about asking for the trot. Beth said Shy knew that and was taking care of me.
Eventually, I did get her to a trot. Surprisingly to me, nothing bad happened. Shy was not out of control. She did not run away. In fact, I was able to control her and I was having fun! A lot of fun! Even with Kyle and Clutch making a racket as they trotted around in the forecart, even with Becky trying to get Stinky to be a good grown up pony, even on the grassy arena area with ups and downs in the ground.
We did the Draft Working Cart class and we came out alive. Shy did not turn into a nutty pony and although she decided to have the slowest walk alive and not keep her trot consistent, she was good. After the class, I remember commenting that I wish the judged had asked for more trotting! I couldn't believe that came out of my mouth! It was like a high. A horsey high. I want to drive Shy again. I actually can't wait for the next time I can get in the cart behind her. Of course, I am aware that one successful drive on my pony does not make me a pro, so I still need someone who knows what they are doing there with me. But now, instead of being fearful, I am excited for the next time I can drive. It can't come soon enough!