I had been planning to go to the barn on Sunday. On Saturday night, I checked the weather – barely 40 and rain, all day. Seriously? “You should still go,” my fiancé encouraged. “Yeah, but it’s freezing and raining. I can’t ride.” “You’ll still enjoy it. Just go.” He knows it’s good for my mental health. See why I’m marrying him? 😉
Like the weatherman predicted, it was 37 and raining. I don’t know what it was with the windchill but it was definitely more freezing rain and it was cold. But not cold enough for the mud to be frozen. Horse people, you know the misery I’m describing. Nibbles lives outside 24/7 – the barn we have has a tack room and place for hay but no stalls. So I pulled up my hood, grabbed a halter, and slid through the mud. Luckily, wee mare was nearby so I didn’t have to go far.
I quickly realized we were going to be worried that we couldn’t see our friends from inside the barn. I did not have 100% of her focus. Plus the rain hitting the metal roof makes a super horse-friendly sound. Sigh.
I mentioned making sure she had buttons installed before she goes to the trainer. Not panicking when she’s away from buddies is not installed yet. She didn’t actually do anything naughty so much as fidget and try to turn around. But still, the anxiety was definitely there.
So I made her stand tied for 5 minutes. Like she could not move one hoof. She had a pile of hay she could just put her head down and eat but she chose not to. Silly but I wanted to start small. After that, I moved her outdoors where she could munch hay, her buddies could potentially be in view, but she still had to stay with me. Her buddies were out of sight but it was remarkable how much more relaxed she was. Fifteen minutes was nothing.
In the end, she was separated for half an hour. She was definitely better at the end than at the beginning. Hopefully she’ll improve each time. We have to start somewhere, right?