After our last performance at the ADT, I have been thinking about a few things in regards to the horses and mostly where Kat is involved. He deserves some time off. He's been good, done his job and put up with a lot from me as far as my driving styles for work, pleasure and competing. He needs some 'down time' and he certainly deserves a break.
His failure to fire at the ADT is uncharted territory. He's never done that and I'm not sure what the root of the problem was. There was no change in diets, routine or anything else that might make someone say, A-Ha! That's it. So I'm not sure what's up with that, but maybe he is a little burnt out on the whole game.
So then, what to do? What to do?
The girls want to ride. Period. True to his Welsh pony nature, Kat loves them and allows them to fuss over him while he just. soaks. it. all. up. They hug him incessantly. Want to brush every last inch of his body and could care less that he's shedding right now and it 'snows' brown hair with each stroke. He's always been that way. When he was a baby and still intact, my daughter used to go in his stall with a hoof pick and clean all four of his feet, brush him, dote on him and he absolutely loved it. Obviously he still does... The other night I caught one of the twins hanging off his neck with her arms wrapped around him in a big hug while she had both legs wrapped around his front legs to 'boost herself up'. He looked at me and blinked as if to say "I love this! They're awesome! Where'd you find them? Can we get more????"
So the first order of business was to get them boots. What they picked out is sparkly, pink and covered in bling. Nothing I would ever wear, but it's what they wanted so that's what they got. And damn are they cute wearing them! They also needed socks to protect their legs. A two pack each, one pink pair with horses and a blue pair with horse shoes. Jeans- they still fit into a few pairs from before, but sooner or later will outgrow them or wear them into shorts. Helmet? I still have the old one that my daughter used when she rode as well as mine and the spare I bought for having a navigator on the cart. They can use these until I find the perfect helmets for them so they're covered in this department as well.
I have asked them at different times if they want to ride English or western. Since they don't really understand the whole concept yet, I phrase it so they can. Do you want to jump or do you want to barrel race & chase cows? First they both want to do one, then the other, then it's split, then they swap and somewhere in the mix they want to be jockeys and race, so around and around it goes... For now, they are just happy to be ON a horse. No matter how big, small, spotted or not- they are thrilled that they even get to ride. I can remember that feeling.
They hold the reins while I lead Kat around and have done everything at a walk as if they were born to be up there. Both girls have let go of one rein and put their hand on their hip, then their head. Then both hands on their hips, then on their head and all the while Kat walks sedately on like a champ, never missing a beat and happy with his new job. As they progress and start to move up, then I will encourage them both to try everything- dressage, jumping, eventing, trail, saddleseat, western pleasure, barrels, penning, sorting, roping, driving, whatever, whenever, wherever, just give it a shot and see if you like it. When they figure out what they want to do, then that's what we will do.