Sunday I set out to the barn in good spirits. It was a lesson day. My husband also offered to come and take video. I think he felt bad that he was leaving that evening for the week :) That's ok, I'll take an extra pair of hands any way I can get them! So, with the dog walked and breakfast had, we set off nice and early. Finally, I wouldn't be in a rush before a lesson!
Sounds good, doesn't it?
On the way there, we were interrupted by a 10K run that closed off the only roads I know to get to the barn. That's ok, I had lots of time, so we had an impromptu tour of the nearest little town. Once at the barn, I caught Brumby and set my husband to duct taping the ginormous hole in his heavy rain sheet (mentioned in the comments to my previous post). He took the blanket to the heated tack room at the far end of the barn and I started grooming.
With Brumby nice and clean, I swept the floor and was just setting the broom against the wall when Brumby stepped sideways. Unfortunately, the barn cat was cuddled next to his hoof and he stepped right on the cat!
All I heard was this weird, muffled, cat-like yowl and I turned to see a Grey fur tornado flailing around Brumby's right hoof. I almost had a heart attack right there but I'm fortunately pretty good in a crisis so I immediately flew to his other side and pushed his shoulder. Big lug dutifully moved away from the pressure and the poor cat literally flew to his little house, just around the corner.
At this point, I think I yowled myself and tried to coax the cat out to see how bad he was. He wouldn't come out. I decided I should get backup to get him out. If it was really bad, I knew it would be better to have someone else around. Sure, if I was alone I would have coped with it. But I happened to have the best person I could ask for in a crisis right there (aka my husband), so I went to get him.
I walked down that aisle. Since when was it this long? I started out upset but in control. With every step, I crumpled a little more. By the time I reached the door to the tack room, I was a blubbering mess. Good thing my husband speaks blubbering mess, he understood immediately "auuh, huh, huh, Brumby..ahuh...stepped on.ahh...ah the caaat, ooohh aww" [hand shaking, arms waving].
We booked it back down the aisle (magically shorter, this time) and now joined by one of the barn staff who heard my commotion. We coaxed the cat out of his little house and...he looked great. Wait...great?
Honestly, that cat looked so happy for all the attention being focused on him (finally). I was still crying and saying how it wasn't possible, he was caught under the hoof of a full-grown Hanoverian, I saw it! I was still crying as the cat walked about and even ran a few steps, then came back for some pets.
I took a few deep breaths. This wasn't possible. But it was, he didn't look like he was in shock, even several minutes later, he seemed...normal. He was giving the horse a wide berth, but that's it.
I'm guessing Brumby knocked one of the nine lives off though. Clearly there is no other logical explanation :) Judging by the look of that cat, it wasn't the first.
Whew. I now had 10 minutes to lesson time. (I did tell the barn owner about the cat and to keep an eye on him for the next few hours especially). I guess I was fortunate my instructor was a little late due to the mini-marathon.
On to the lesson.
We've been doing some jumping but have gone back to flat for a bit. I needed to work on a number of things (um, breaks, anyone?) before the jumping would be worthwhile. At the canter, Brumby is either a)being held up and looks pretty good but isn't holding himself, b)rather high-headed and fast, or c)curled behind the bit. There is, of course, option d, which I get sometimes but want all the time.
Lately, the biggest issue I've had is fixing 'c', namely that I want him to stop coming behind the bit at the canter. Of course, curling his neck in also means I don't have the breaks off the seat that I want and half-halts are practically non-existent. This is partly due to his old habit (he was always held up) and partly because my timing isn't perfect with the softening.
I'm leaving a lot of stuff out, so feel free to ask/comment/question. I can't believe I'm posting these on here!
Here, we are just working on trotting a square. This has also been a tough spot. I have a hard time getting a good bend with him. (note: there is another rider with us, so the comments at the beginning are directed to her and her mare)
Here we are working on canter-trot transitions off the seat. So hard!!
There. Enjoy the laugh :D