When we first came to Maple Row, Annie was using a slow twist bit. I didn't get on her unless she had ear puffs in her ears, and I had spurs on and held a crop. Worst of all she and I both had an attitude.
Today Annie's bit is a classic smooth snaffle, she doesn't use ear puffs, and the spurs and crop are left in the tack trunk. The attitude? Somewhere in the last year or so it drifted away.
In the old days I didn't dare ride out alone. Annie got crazy nervous without another horse with her.
Today she and I trust each other so it's not so important to her to have a same species buddy around. She had her little spook but I don't get crazy nervous like I used to either. Instead of pulling up on the reins, I loosen them, sit back and give her a reassuring pat on the withers. She calms right down. Gives my heart a chance to calm down too.
For about 45 minutes we walk and trot, work a little on canter departs. Mostly we just enjoy the ride, the outside and each other. It's been a long time since I've been able to get out to the farm to ride more than once a week or every other week. For that reason Annie and I both need some time to get back into riding shape. For now I'm just happy to be able to say Annie likes me, she really likes me. And I'm crazy in love with her.
Photo courtesy of Bill Gracey via Flickr