With training goals and personal goals and dreams of showing... sometimes I forget to enjoy slow days with Ashe. I know he appreciates them, and I always dig a little deeper into his personality. It helps us to bond, and heal over the hard training days and mistakes made prior.
Yesterday he was uncharacteristically lazy, even over the jumps. Two days before we had a hard flat lesson with working on raised cavaletti and serpentines. I guess he wasn't out of being stiff/sore yet.
So today, instead of riding despite the gorgeous weather, I set him up with a pile of hay, and took to grooming every inch of him. As it's chilly, I couldn't bathe him despite the accumulation of dust/dirt he seems to always have on him (I should rename him Pigpen!). So I went with a new technique I had read: The Wet Towel/Brush Method.
Now I know the wet towel method. I use it in the winter to keep the deep urine stains from setting too deeply onto him, but we don't have hot water at the barn, and I didn't decide to do a deep groom until I had gotten there.
What this does, is you wet the towel (bonus if you get hot water, it helps keep things clean) and you brush the horse, then the towel, then the horse.... you get the picture. It keeps the brush clean and in turn dampens the brush to encourage the dirt to cling to it. He was near glossy by the time I was done. I did the same with his tail, and then went to town with his nicks he has from rolling on hard ground (Again, Pigpen anyone??)
Then, to top it off, we went on a long meandering trail walk together in halter. He grazed for a bit here and there, and then all of a sudden started pushing his nose through the tall grass where we walked. At first I was confused and then I realized he was purposely getting the grasshoppers to jump.
I knew they had fascinated him from when we'd ride outside before, his head at his knees jumping overtime they hit him in the face and then he'd put it right back down again. This just had me laughing so hard at the spectacle of him doing it (I wish I had had a camera on me at the time).
By the end we both were relaxed, he was moving much more loosely and we both had a wonderful morning. It reminded me why I love horses, and my boy in general.
So remember to go appreciate your four legged partners and all they do!
Until Next Time. No worries!