So as I pulled in the driveway, I was thinking about having about an hour of sunlight, and feeling very motivated to at least attempt getting on Petit Point's back... and then a German Shepherd flashed past my peripheral vision as I was parking the truck. What the FUCK?
Sable, whom I had left shut in my bedroom with water and a chew toy (as an alternative to setting up her crate, which is currently in the truck bed and weighs 55 pounds and likes to try to snack on my toes as I haul it in and out of the house) had apparently gone through the screened window in the bedroom and had herself a fine time roaming the neighborhood.
What I wanted to do: pick her up and shake her, while screaming.
What I did: went into the house, snagged my helmet and the aforementioned sweet-iron snaffle, shut her into the laundry, and went to play with my horse. Sunset isn't waiting on anyone. Snarling at Sable would only train her not to greet me -- counterproductive at best.
(I learned at eleven or so -- if you're mad at the horse, don't kick the horse. Kick the barn. Sometimes I even remember it in time.)
So I sashayed into the pasture, and put my new toy together, and fit it onto Petit Point. At one point I had to rescue the reins from Julian, who was ready to tow Petit Point around by them. (And I made the mistake of leaving the unnecessary flash noseband on the fence, within his reach -- yep, that got chewed too. A fine and helpful horse, Julian is.)
So I carefully led Petit Point into the backyard and started assessing various local features in terms of their usefulness as mounting blocks. Petit Point, for her part, goggled and made horrified faces at the notion of being separated from Julian by 20 feet. Inside the fence, Julian made similar faces and noises. Herd species. Gotta love them.
Wwwwwait, I said to myself. Let's run a checkout here, see what the sweet thing remembers while I'm safely down on the ground. So we did some change of direction exercises, then I asked her to stand still for a while as I fussed over her mane. Now that was difficult. Standing still 20 feet away from her paddock with a new bridle on her head and my wearing a helmet was a mindboggling concept. So I made sure to pick up on the reins when she was jittering around, and promptly drop the contact when she was standing. So after I was good and done removing the tangle I'd spotted, and when she was in fact standing, we did some more changes of direction, so she could do something constructive with all that nervous energy, and finished with a quiet horse standing and waiting for what I wanted.
QUIT while you are AHEAD, says the training part of the brain. So I put her out. Tomorrow, we'll do this again, only I'll spend a little time grooming her first, and I'll use a longer line with the changes of direction. Do this for a week and being taken away from Julian will be old hat, which is something I need for the Oregon trip. And maybe she'll stand still without boggling next to one of those big rocks, and I'll climb on without either of us suffering a traumatic incident.
Of course it hadn't actually occurred to me (until I wrote this down) that I should be fooling with her more if I want her to behave as if I'm someone she knows when we're in Oregon. So now you know why I blather all this personal stuff. What I want to know from you is, why on earth do you bother reading it? Haven't you got your lap full of your own self-revelation? (There's a comment link over there; use it.)