Four (+) Months of Mia
Last week, just under 4 months after she stepped off the trailer and walked into my life and less than 5 months since her last race, I rode the baby deer for the first time. After months of groundwork, relaxation, and reprogramming, Mia suddenly seemed like she was ready to take the first big steps toward her second career. I texted with some of my friends + my fantastic trainer, Julia, to let them know that I was ready to hop on if any of them could come make sure she didn't explode and kill me. In the supportive fashion I've come to expect from them, they all showed up on the same day and watched as Julia helped get me mounted and coached Mia and I through walk/trot circles and some halting practice. It was, to quote Jessica, "a non-issue." Aside from one small little hop when we started trotting right, she was a perfectly quiet little angel the entire time I was on her back. The only moments of hilarity came after I dismounted: first, she bucked the moment my feet were on the ground (lol), and second, she bucked when I went to take her saddle off and didn't remove it from her back quickly enough (not surprising since she does this in the crossties most days too).
After the NOTRodeo was over, we ate mini bundt cakes and celebrated the fact that the day before had been Suzi's birthday! It was the best.
Two days later, Lauren volunteered to be amazing and came out to be my "death preventer" for my second ride and helped me safely mount and then stayed attached and calm while we worked on some more walk/trot and halt transitions. Again, it was very much a non-issue.
I gave Mia a few well-deserved days of respite and worked with her on self-parking at the mounting block, which she all but mastered in about 15 minutes. On Sunday, my friend Laura played babysitter and rode the fabulous Misty around while I walked Mia around the arena, unattached, for the first time. Laura and Misty's very chill presence kept everything sweet and simple.
And then, ride #4 came earlier this week, on Monday, when Julia came by and worked us through more walk/trot transitions and we started thinking about timing for halt and downward transitions and on finding better balance on circles since those are hard for OTTBs :)
This baby horse has exceeded all of my expectations in the last 10 days. Her willingness to try things is astonishing and even though she definitely still looks like a 2 year old, she's becoming more emotionally mature every week! I can't wait to see what we're able to accomplish with consistent, slow, and steady work in the coming months.