Okay, not really loose.
So I went out today. Amber was out with two geldings, as the other mare in the group has been brought in.
I think she's coming into heat. It's hard to tell when I'm working with her, only her behavior with other horses tells. It would make sense, since the other mare she's out with has been in heat.
Anyhow, I went out to catch her. She was just chilling. Just standing there grazing, and when I got about 25 feet from her, she BOLTED. Flat out gallop. All the way to the other end of the pasture. I wasn't going to run around chasing her. I can't outrun her, obviously, so I patiently followed behind. When she saw that I was attempting to approach her again, she flagged her tail and pranced around, head high, and then took off again, throwing little bucks of joy. They weren't directed at me, so I assumed she was just feeling good. She was definitely not lame. She ran back to the other end, and pranced along the fenceline looking at the paint that lives in the next pasture over. Then, saw I was coming again, and took off back towards the other end.'
And then...she got a little too ahead of herself and fell on her right side. I had a mini heart attack, but before I could freak out too much, she was up, looking embarrassed, but off and running again, bucking and having herself a good old time, appearing to be no worse for the wear.
I shook my head and laughed and followed her again, just talking to her and telling her how silly she was.
She stopped at the other end by the two geldings, who were paying her absolutely no mind, and then I caught her easily, while she huffed and puffed. I told her that I hoped she had fun, but learned a lesson - you can run as long as you like, but in the end, you'll just have to work even more.
She followed me quietly to the barn. LOL. I wish I had my video camera. I think she was more or less just feeling silly and playful, considering how easily she was caught after she tuckered herself out.
Emma, the trainer, told me if she's shedding not to groom her in the wash pit, as it clogs the drain, but we have no significant sheddage yet. *Sigh* All the other ponies there are shedding buckets of hair.
We went out and she did MUCH, much better than Saturday. Only got rushy a couple of times, and otherwise I was very happy with our ride. I'm only working her 20-30 minutes at a time every other day right now while she is in a semi-rehab.
I turned her back out when we finished and she went off to graze quietly, energy depleted. I am so, so glad I bought a mare. I know some people can't stand the silly mare antics that inevitably happen, but I just think my life with her is so much more interesting. I could do without the falling down, though, but watching her flag her tail and kick her up heels just showing off? Prancing around like the queen bee she is certain she is? Wouldn't trade it for anything. And she's such a snuggle bunny. Mares are generally much more cuddly than geldings. She loves to be sweet-talked and loved on.
She was off to the right today, and even Emma noticed. I expect she was just sore from the little spill she took. But I don't think she seriously hurt anything, or she would have been dead hopping lame as soon as she got up.
Tomorrow I'm going to do some very, very light work over ground poles with her. Obviously, no cantering or jumping for us until I get those feet accessed, but I think 15-20 minutes of pole trotting would do her good. I also want to do some leg yields to get her listening to my leg more, although she was quite responsive to it today. Very responsive. And much more responsive to my half halts. She did get the bit in her teeth once, but I got her back pretty quick. I ordered the french link, which I think will prevent that, since it's much harder for a horse to get something double jointed clenched in their teeth. I'll still use the D ring for jumping and HUS. That will come later when her training gets back on track, and her trying to grab the bit and ignore me becomes a non-issue. I think she mostly does it so she can try to canter, which is what she always tries to do after she gets it in her teeth. I think she's just bored out of her mind with walk trot, walk trot, walk trot. She's got a lot of energy - she's young and likes to move. She doesn't understand why I'm not letting her canter any more for now.