Someone turned the lights on and the heat up in Texas this weekend! After a pretty dismal January, the sun came out and this weekend was a balmy 60 plus degrees. It’s actually going to hit 80 today. January was not a goal smashing sort of month for me, more like a barely holding my life together month. Then, February comes roaring into life. Not only did I get some solid training in with three horses, but it looks like Odessa (aka Indian Summer) is finally ready to go back into work.
When we first went to look at the skinny, heap of bones, with rain rot that would eventually blossom into the lovely Odessa I knew she was solid. She had a brave and gentle eye that just screamed she would be one of those horses you can trust. Not to say she doesn’t have her mare-ish moments, and she does put a little extra flare into new endeavors. Jump a barrel with all four feet leaving the ground at the same time, Pepe Le Pew style while warming up for trail? Yeah she did that at a show and is well remembered for it. Also her tolerance for the glitz and glam of show life has a life-span of about 6 hours. Your classes not over by then? Just pack it on up because its the mare stare and a swishing tail for the rest of the event. But, for all those moments there has never been a time that I did not put my complete trust in her.
Odessa is my sole hope for cultivating a love of horses in Offspring. Theoretically, Beau was supposed to be the gateway drug we used to get Offspring hooked on horses, and while Offspring is a fan of pony cart rides, the threat of sitting on the pony’s back induces screaming fits. It may be the narrow back or choppy little strides, but Offspring does not feel safe on the pony. Considering all of Beau’s shenanigans and his devilish personality, I can’t really blame him. Odessa is like a comfy couch by comparison, and Offspring really does seem to enjoy brief rides on her. He even humored me by riding her in the lead line class at a horse show. Offspring put on his own show, by yelling gibberish (he’s only two years old) at the judge, giving the judge his hat, and clapping for himself in the line-up.
I refuse to be one of those parents that pushes their hobbies on their children. However, I will expose him to the lifestyle and pray it’s his thing. If not, then we’ll support whatever he wants to do. As much as Mommy prefers to attend rodeos over soccer games, I want Offspring to follow his own dreams, not those pushed onto him by his parents. Odessa is my hope for a safe positive experience for Offspring to base his choices.
Odessa is an uncomplicated animal. Feed her treats, lavish her with attention, and all is right with the world. Offend her by indulging some other animal on the property first, and there will be retribution usually in the form of passive resistance and stubbornness. But, she’s consistent in those idiosyncrasies. After the heat that Comanche brings to every training session, Odessa’s cool and calm demeanor is the perfect way to balance out your day.
The rains in December made it virtually impossible to ride, and in the first week of January, Odessa had surgery to remove a sarcoid from her girth line. It took longer to heal than expected, and we had to deal with a few popped stitches along the way. The wound is finally closed, but it will still be a week or two before I put a saddle on her. In the meantime she’s cleared for bareback work, and I practically counted every waking minute until I would be able to ride her tonight. I’ve been craving that laid back leisurely lope around the pasture where I really feel one with my horse. Odessa did not fail to deliver despite being on pasture rest for a month. She let me know that she was completely inconvenienced when I swung up onto her bareback with pinned ears and a foot stomp, but it was all for show. She really loves the attention.
We had a great ride. She did some great trail obstacles, and settled into a nice lope. Not show quality, but it gives me hope she may be ready for walk, jog, lope classes by the end of March. Until then it’s just nice to have my girl back. In a few more weeks, Offspring will begin accompanying me on Odessa rides so he can see that horses can be as much fun as four-wheelers and tractors. I doubt horses will trump tractors in his mind, but hopefully horses will be less scary after some quality time with mommy and her favorite horse.