Revisiting the Arena

On Saturday, we were going to go for a trail ride, but then we slept in until almost noon, so that was out. We're are seriously not good at getting up early. We got lunch and eventually got to the barn to ride. My husband wanted to ride to the winery and do a wine tasting, but Dijon is injured again (that's a whole other post I should do) and Nilla cannot be trusted to stay tied at the winery (or anywhere). So we decided to do an arena ride.

I finally got my breeching on Monday and I didn't want to take the time before our lesson on Wednesday to get Nilla used to it so today was our first try with it. I don't really know how to use breeching and it's designed for western saddles anyway so it was all rather an experiment. I do think I got it on correctly. Anyone who actually knows what they're doing is welcome to point out what's I'm doing wrong. I started it pretty loose and lounged Nilla around the small arena to let her get used to it. She was not terrible impressed. She kept trying to kick it while bucking. And she normally just throws tiny little crow hops, these were huge heels above the butt bucks. So it took a long time to get her calmed down enough for me to feel like I could get on and not be risking my life.

mule english saddle breeching

Once she was settled, I hopped on and we rode up to the upper arena. I set up some trot poles and also a lone pole for figure eights. I put her bit on today and she wasn't happy about it, but we actually had some decent connection and managed to do simple transitions in a normal manner, not a barging through the reins manner. I will be using the bit again for Wednesday's lesson.

Much more respectful

My husband was working on the circle exercise from the lesson on Wednesday. I finally had him hop off and tried her myself. She was being very naughty. She's very well trained, but she's a mare and she has opinions. I really had to remind her that my inside leg is something to be listened to, not ignored. I did finally get her to soften and go around nicely, but it was work. I turned her back over and he had some success.

We went on a short trail ride to cool off and try out the breeching on hills. I had left the breeching a bit loose though so it didn't really help with the hills. She also didn't totally freak out and go bucking down the hill when it tightened up either, so we'll call it a win for now.

We turned the two of them out in their new pasture (another post I need to do), fed them, and headed over to the winery by car. My husband has a membership to the winery that gets him a free tasting for up to 4 people every month. I don't really drink - I don't abstain, I just don't really care for wine or beer - so my husband usually does the tastings without me. This winery does have a port that comes with a small piece of fudge for the tasting. So, when I go, I order 5 ports, hold the port.

my idea of wine tasting
While my husband was finishing up tasting actual wines, I went outside. The winery has a bunch of chickens and used to have a lot of peacocks though I've not seen the peacocks recently. They may have been eaten by a coyote or mountain lion. There was a boy attacked by a mountain lion in the park attached to this winery a few months ago. They shot the mountain lion after that. The winery does have a new addition on pheasants and quail. There was a lady there feeding and taking care of them and she told me a bunch about the pheasants. I didn't even know there were different types of pheasants. These well like parrot pheasants: some bright gold and red, others blue or purple. They were really pretty.

The brown ones are the females

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