Oh, my lovely Velvet. I love her so. (She's the one on the left) She is the best mare on the planet, I am sure. She has taken over Lady's spot as alpha mare, as I knew she would. I was concerned that she would become corrupted with her absolute power in the herd. I was worried that she would become a bit of a witch and start bullying and become a giant bay pain in the arse. But, I wasn't too worried. She has a kind soul, and a kind way. There have been several moments that I have seen that she could have - no, wait... she should have really kicked the crap out of Rosie (who is getting a little mareish with the other horses).
What did she do? She just warned her, and put on some major body language that said 'hey. I will tell you once, nicely, to knock it off.' That's all it took. She has nipped at Rose a few times, but she has not yet in the years that I've had her ever taken a kick at anyone.
On to the two of us together. I have felt awful since Lady's been gone. It's been hard for me to want to go out, but when I have, I have gone to Velvet for comfort. And her big soft eyes have been there everytime. I was concerned that I was getting too hard with my hands (using 2 fingers to wiggle instead of one) so I switched to a full cheek snaffle just to make sure my shanks wouldn't hurt her. Glad I did. We played a little, and she loved it. Went right back to nearly pure leg and seat cues and just little finger wiggles.
We walked, then trotted, then cantered, and even galloped over ground poles, 6x6 boards, and deadfallen birch trees. When we got to the trot and faster, she was hopping over them, and I DO so love the little bump in the road that is a little jump over things at the canter & gallop. I didn't ride her hard. We would do a little, then walk. Little more, then walk. I let her munch on some clover while the rest of the horses ran the paddock like they had firecrackers shoved up their hineys. Yet, because Velvet is who she is, and she is the way she is, she just stood there and either a)ignored them all together or b) looked at them as if they were totally out of their minds.
Although we haven't done so yet, I felt like this:::
Never once did she give me a lick of trouble, or one mis step. That is what I can count on her for. A good ride every time. Oh, and the sliding stops we did - to.die.for. She made it 2-1/2 fence sections on the 2nd slide - my math puts that at around 20 feet - no sliding plates.... though it was a little muddy. The other slides were in sand. Not nearly so slippery.
Yes... if not for firearm season starting tomorrow, we would be doing deeper water & swimming work while the weather holds.
But, it's getting chilly again, so that will have to wait until spring. Instead, we'll be ground driving and getting ready for ski jorring. I'm sure she'll take to it fine. Me? well, I'll just have to hope for the best. I know I won't be setting any land speed records. Staying upright will be good enough for me. Though, if it gets good, there are those moguls on the back of the farm....