So much has happened this week, I’m not sure how to share it all - but I’ll try to roll the parts that have to do with Koda & Nemo all into one post.
The day before our ride, we took my saddle into our local saddle expert Kathye Dunn from Mounds to take a look at – and she promptly…ripped it apart! Understand my husband & Kathye go way back to 4H days, she doesn’t normally unassemble customers saddles in front of them. But we’re glad she did, we learned a lot from her about much more than saddles. The leather was bound up inside under the tree, causing my instant ankle discomfort. She fixed it, turned the stirrup-ups, cleaned and oiled it. My saddle now looks and feels like a dream! Kathye is amazing, people come from all over for her to solve their horse/saddle woes. She even makes her own magic leather cleaner/conditioner all rolled into one.
I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate our anniversary than with Koda & Nemo, so we took the day off and spent a good couple hours riding outside in perfect weather! It was farrier day at Iron Horse, and the horses were a little wiggy. We knew it was going to be busy, and tried to stay out of the way while tacking up. We lunged outside, Brad and Nemo in a sandy circle area, Koda and I in the round pen, and Assistant Trainer Amanda with another horse in the outdoor area. Nemo was golden the entire afternoon, Brad loped him for the first time. Koda has had better days (or maybe it was me) so I opted to save my first lope for another time. He did plenty of great things, just a bit distracted. Lunging was uneventful, good thing since we had at it alone. While riding I learned how to correct a drunken walk (yes, horses do it too) and was reminded how important it is to keep their minds busy. We did circles, went around cones, over ground poles – anything to keep him focused.
We changed it up and went on our first ride out on a grassy field. That was fun, and went well. We are proud of our boys they did awesome on a couple occasions that could have easily been problematic for any horse, let alone a young one. Upon return the seasoned show horse Patty was riding spooked opening the arena gate that it's opened many times before (including when we left) and she rolled off. Brad nabbed the horse as he went by, and he calmed him down – Nemo didn’t flinch. I was nearby waiting to go in when all hell broke loose. We almost got run into several times while the horse figured out that the gate wasn't going to eat him. Koda could have easily gotten caught up in the air, but didn’t. They also did well when they changed turn-out in the nearby pastures, and the two fresh horses decided to run like crazy in side-by-side pastures. I know some rides will present much more of a challenge, but not today. All we got was a side-way spook out of Koda when we were at the woods edge, and that I can handle.
As we get closer to bringing our boys home, the discussion increases on what we should focus on. Iron Horse will continue working on their consistency with gate changes, departures, and open terrain riding. Hopefully the weather holds out on Saturday, so they can take that pending long trail ride. We will bring our trailer with us next week, and leave it up there so they can begin working with loading Koda. I’m hopeful he has the maturity now to understand what is being asked of him. We look forward to bringing them home, altho with mixed feelings, and riding more than once a week. In the interim, Brad needs a saddle and both horses need bridles and bits - let the tack search begin!
33 minutes ago