Yep, that's right. This week I have been going non-stop for pretty much fourteen hour days...and I couldn't be happier. The alarm clock starts going off at 6 am sharp, and I am getting out of bed so much easier these days. It seems that all the stress of the last month had added to the fact that it was hard to even get out of bed, because that all seems to be gone now. I am excited to get up, and I am grinning when I pull up to the farm and see six ponies eagerly awaiting breakfast with soft whinnies and nodding heads.
After breakfast is fed, which is now closer to 30 minutes than the previous 10, I start my commute to work. The forty-five minute drive used to seem like an eternity, but after 9 years of commuting I have pretty much adapted to it. I absorb myself in the workday for the following eight hours, which can involve any unpredictable range of events that can happen within a day in the property management field. Budgets, payables, irate residents...you name it, it happens. Then it is back on the road for the drive home, where I change clothes, let dogs out, and head to the barn.
Chores have pretty much doubled now, but it is enjoyable and satisfying work. I am in LOVE with the slow feeder, and wish I could afford to put them out everywhere. It is an amazing little contraption that completely eliminates hay waste, and keeps it neat and off the ground. The new ponies have settled in perfectly, and I have to say, I really like each and every one of them. Rosie is completely sweet and wants to be in your back pocket at all times. The boys are an adorable pair who are also extremely personable and well-behaved. I am enjoying getting to know each new pony, their quirks, habits, and individual personalities.
After chores last night, I took the time to work April since the horrible footing has been pushing her to the back burner. I wish I could come up with some way to fight that battle, but I don't have any solutions at this point. She has been really worked up over the arrival of the new geldings, and has been overly worried and rude at the same time, so I decided to do some groundwork and longing with her. It started out with her trying to run the show, but I took Ivy's recent suggestion to work on asserting myself more in the little things, and by the end of the night things ended well. When I walked back up to the barn I made sure that she stayed right in step with me, whether I was walking fast, slow, or stopped altogether. I am coming to the realization that she is going to continue to try to walk all over me unless I consistently assert myself each and every time I handle her - it is just the kind of mare she is. I have been learning a lot from each time I have watched Ivy handle her, and am making a huge effort to translate her successes into some of my own. I have so much to learn in this world. Not to slight Ivy, Kelsey, or any other trainer I have had, but I find it incredible that the horses end up being our greatest teachers. April makes me a better horsewoman on a daily basis, even though some days I grit my teeth in extreme frustration as I learn it. She is quickly becoming the greatest teacher I have ever had, and I am grateful for her each and every day.