Hi. Today was a fine day in the sandbox. All the horses behaved super well and the blistering sun waited till almost noon to defeat the clouds in the battle for skyspace. But...the path to today started last thursday. It was young-horse interesting. Sanibelle was going through the four year old phase of, "I don't really have to! Make me!" So we had rides filled with minor resistances. Whenever the dogs played in the tree-line Sandi had to watch. Not too easy when she is supposed to be on the bit. When her face got itchy she wanted to stop and scratch. Not too easy when you are trotting. 10 meter turns onto the centerline: too hard. Stretchy circles: opportunities to socialize. Then, on Thursday, Sandi decided to make a committment to her pay-no-attention philosophy of life and popped a rear. She stood all the way up. To get that high a horse has to fling its head up and back. Her neck hit me in the nose... bloody nose. I clung like a cougar, we landed, and blood dripped onto my gloves. Over the next 15 minutes I stuck to the topic at hand (bending left). She wanted to look off to the right, down by the pasture was something interesting and she was insisting on stopping and looking. But I prevailed. I was very quick to praise in the moments she relented, with body and voice. With every pat, her ears flopped softly to the side. Her bouncy, elevated trot added swing and elasticity. Then, she tried again to stop and look. Without pause I closed my aids and stayed to the topic, and added a growl with my voice. She submitted again. When I prevailed long enough, I dismounted. Specks of blood covered my saddle pommel, gloves and shirt. I thought maybe she was sorry. Her eyes suggested such. The next day, my schedule didn't permit time to ride her, but I put her on the lunge for a bit. She was perfect. Saturday storms prevented further conversation with Sandi and she rested. On Sunday, I got on again. She was wonderful. She was sorry! Typical mare. I think the bleeding thing got to her. Monday, she was great. We rode through a test. And today, she was splendid and graceful and four year old perfect. She is travelling to Williamston this weekend for the Summertime Blues show. Our intent is not to compete, but to enjoy a "riding vacation" together on the new grounds, to see a covered arena, and to remain calmly submissive during work sessions even while social distractions take place. Wish me luck. .... In addition to that saga... on Sunday, I was leading 4 y.o. Wonder in from the pasture. While I am usually attentive to a young horses' position "shoulder to shoulder" she slipped behind me as she cowered from a new fallen tree that my husband and sons' were cleaning up. Suddenly she bolted forward and I fell on my *&*! I now have a "tatoo" of the galaxy on my rear because I landed square on a rock. It is about 5 inches around and every shade of violet imaginable. No, I am not going to post a picture. Although there may be money in it because it is pretty graphic... Anyway, today was fabulous. Everyone was so gentle, attentive and dressagey. Perhaps I am overdone on the young horses? Goodness, how I appreciate my o' Welle!