My baby is all grown up! Okay, not really, but I at least feel like I sent her off to her first day of school.
I pulled an old saddle pad and an even older saddle out from the shed this morning, and set them on the wall between two stalls in the lean to. I figured I’d test the waters and see what Gracie’s reaction would be to them. No rhyme or reason, it just felt right. I led her into her stall and, after I unhooked her lead, she started checking out the unfamiliar territory.
After a few minutes, she seemed rather bored and ready to move on with her day. Since I had been throwing a loud, scary winter blanket on her all winter, I knew she’d be fine with the saddle pad. There weren’t any issues with that, so I moved on to the saddle. I let the stirrups bounce against the wall a few times but again, Gracie was made of stone. With one stirrup over the horn, I gently placed the saddle on her back.
I brought the other stirrup down, and the only movement was Gracie looking around to see where her friends were in the field. Not a care in the world that something was on her back and things were bumping against her side.
Here comes the big part – the girth. I took some time to adjust it so it would fit properly, then slowly tightened it so the saddle wouldn’t slide off. After tightening the girth to a point that the saddle wouldn’t slide off, I slipped out of the stall to allow her a minute to get used to it. She had no reaction to that, either, and honestly, I’m not surprised. She always seems to have this easy going attitude towards new things.
In fact, she cared so little about this thing that I was so excited about, that I decided to take her out for a little stroll. She tripped over a mound of dirt, and the stirrups whacked her side – again, no reaction. I even lunged her at a walk for a couple circles. How did I get so lucky to have such a chill baby?
Today should have been a big day; a big deal. But it wasn’t. Everything just felt right – like she was as ready as she could be for this lesson. I’d like to think that I have mentally prepared her for this. But, I think it’s just the way Gracie handles things. It’s been a long time since I’ve started a horse, but I don’t remember any of them being this easy. As always, I’m hopeful that things will continue so smoothly, and in order to accomplish that, I’ll continue to try to prepare her as best as possible. I’m no expert, but I couldn’t have a better trainee to help me learn!