That's pretty much how the day went. While Lindsay and the young woman bathed the Arabian mare, I baked a cake and later frosted it. We ordered Lindsay's favorite pizza and she picked out a special flavor of ice cream to accompany the cake.
It was after pizza, but before cake and ice cream, when I asked Lindsay to get her riding boots and her helmet and meet us as the round pen.
You should have seen the puzzled look on Lindsay's face. Her mind was not computing why she needed her boots or her helmet. It was clear she had no expectations of riding her mare any time soon.
I responded to her questioning gaze, "Well, you want to ride your mare, right?"
Lindsay's expression instantly changed to a look of delight but there was still the hint of a question as she giggled a "Yes." She looked to me for some confirmation I wasn't teasing her when the young woman blurred out she'd been waiting all day for this. Lindsay heard the words and realized I was indeed serious. Her eyes danced and an infectious smile took over her face as she wheeled around, heading off to get ready for her birthday date with Aana.
The young woman who had ridden the mare earlier saddled her while I got the things together I thought it would take to get this done. Lindsay came out to find Aana in the cross ties being saddled and her mother in the round pen kicking grass clumps and filling holes.
It has only been recently that the round pen has dried out enough for use. During the wet months the grass grows like crazy in there and it's too wet to mow. When it does dry out, I use it for turnout for stallions and they love that grass. The extended turnouts mean they eat it down to the wonderful footing underneath.
At this point in time only about half of the grass was gone so I really wasn't using the round pen for riding yet because the surface is uneven. It is high where the grass still is and lower where the horses have eaten it away, Of course, you know the horses have not seen their role in getting the footing evened out, so the places that are bare and interspersed with the grass, leaving some definite highs and lows.
For Lindsay to ride the mare, I felt the confinement of the round pen was an important element to assure Lindsay's safety since I really had no idea what to expect from the mare with a rider as inexperienced as she.
I still don't know if she really believed she was going to get to ride her mare but the excitement was beginning to build. I wasn't any more sure whether this would happen than she and I wasn't taking any chances. My last minute touch ups on the footing were to assure I would not trip or stumble during my part in getting this done.
Once I was sure the footing was even enough for my clumsy gait, I brought the mare into the round pen. It was my intention to lunge her to see how she felt about me at the end of the line. Then I planned on riding her myself to see what kind of response I would get from my aids.
The young woman who had ridden the mare had given me a report on how she had been but I wasn't trusting that. I had not seen it myself and I was taking no chances that her idea of "good" and "quiet" were the same as mine. I was taking no chances with Lindsay's safety and I actually expected Aana would be better for me than she had this stranger. If I was right about that, then I was probably right about my expectations of how this mare would react to Lindsay being on her back.
To be continued.......
Getting to Riding Aana