I have thought of something to do for a monumental post. Not sure how it will come together and when exactly because I'm still working out the kinks as well as several details. I will keep everyone posted as to when and how and all of that good stuff. For now though, I have made progress. I was able to haul my two mares over to Cindy's place and use an actual arena. Wahoo!
This is the first time the mares have been there and they both handled it amazingly well. Her neighbor has goats, a cow, turkeys, a llama or alpaca- I didn't check to see which, dogs and probably a lot more critters I didn't see, hear or smell.
When I got ready to load them at home I showed Aruba the door to the trailer and she said no. I showed it to her again and again she said no. So we went over to the round pen, I got the whip and this time she said "Okay, no problem." as she walked right up and stepped inside. My TB mare, I have found that if I run a lunge line up thru the ring in the manger and back to her halter, she will for the most part, load herself. Up and in she went with no hassle.
When I unloaded them Cindy was out in the arena playing on the tractor. When she came walking up, Aruba was on the side of the trailer closest and her first impression of my mare was "DAMN! She's a BIG mare!" Yes, yes she is. At 16.2 she's nothing little to sneeze at. I tacked her up with my dressage saddle and tacked up the TB mare with my western saddle. Since the western saddle has a horn to hang my bridle from I led her over to the arena and tied her to the fence where she could wait, watch and just chill out.
When I grabbed all of my stuff and brought Aruba over to the arena, one thing that caught Cindy's eye was my mounting steps. She joked and offered me a 6 foot ladder. Back in the day I used to be able to mount a horse like her, bareback with nothing. My gelding was 16 hands and I could fling my leg up and over his back and off we went. Not so much anymore. I can still get on her without the steps if she's wearing the western saddle, but the two English saddles- nope. Besides, after seeing the long term effects on an English saddle tree, of mounting from the ground. I'll use the steps thanks.
Cindy was going to ride, but said her saddles were all in various stages of being taken apart for cleaning and what not. So I offered her one of mine. My close contact was in the trailer, she was welcome to use it.... She politely declined, saying she could hardly stay on in western tack sometimes, to which I told her I call bullshit on that. I have seen her ride and she's not near as bad a rider as she was making herself sound. Besides, I have seen in her words on her blog, some of the stunts her horse has pulled and she managed to stay on him thru all of it and ride it out. So I called bullshit on that, but she still declined the offer.
Cindy was off tacking up while I was lunging Aruba. I seen her pop out from around the corner a couple of times while my mare was going around and around and around. The girl can move and it has been too long since she's been out where she can actually move like she needs to. She even rolled into a nice canter for a while and held it for a few laps before easing back into a trot. Usually her canter departure consists of a bounce or leap up and into it, but this one was as smooth as they come.
When it came time to get on, Aruba stood patiently and waited for me to get on and settled. She didn't think she should have to move from there, let alone work... Cindy had gotten some video of her on the lunge line and whenever she gets it uploaded I will post a link. She was trying to get her other camera to get video of me riding her, but that didn't work out so well, so we'll just have to try for another day. As it was, we had a good ride and kept our distance from the animals next door.
Then it was my TB mares turn....