Every now and then I run across a song that has sounds in it that no matter how badly I feel about something will improve my mood. There are certain combinations of bright colors that do the same. This is one of those songs. I downloaded it on iTunes last night to use as background for my daughter's very first stop motion animation film that she made all on her own. A couple of our friends do stop motion animation for a living so I had to send it to them even though it is I'm sure horrifically bad by their standards. But then they are not 8 years old. One of them already emailed back with much praise and some helpful suggestions which my daughter is excited about implementing.
My friend, Star was out driving her mini-horses yesterday around the property. The jangles on their harnesses (or whatever they are called when they are suited up for driving) sounded like Christmas. I tried to get my daughter to go out with me to see them but she was tired from having a sleep-over the night before and it's probably for the best because I stayed out there a lot longer than I meant to chatting with people and hanging out. M. gave Toadie a very nice massage because her neck is all knotted up now after two weeks off from all work and then suddenly going back to it.
It was busy and a little chaotic as usual on Saturday but when I got there the arena was full with lessons and the groom rooms were full with students getting ready for their lessons so I decided Toad needed to go for a walk. She hadn't been for a walk for almost a week (I tend to forget to take her out walking around the property and the street on days she's busy working). At first I didn't feel like it - between people on the south side of the property cutting down trees and chopping up the wood with chainsaws, and the neighbor on the north side of the property mowing his lawn and his little yippee dogs chasing him barking non-stop (that was actually irritating me more than anything). In between the Western trainers horses were all out in the front pasture ya-hooing and bucking and galloping around each other. But we needed to go for a walk so I put on my gloves just in case (I've gotten a nasty rope burn before when a pony pulled a lead rope through my hands) and headed out.
I was really proud of Toad! First we walked over to where they were using the chain saws and she was tense but holding it together. We hung out for a bit and watched them, then when we turned to leave the first time she freaked as soon as the noise was behind her and tried to bolt and spin. So, we turned around and tried it again - this time her whole body was shaking like she had to use Herculean powers not to bolt and spin but she didn't! Yay! We walked toward the north side of the property and had to stop quite a few times so I could push her back behind me when she started to nervously dance ahead of me. But she did well. Then her whole body tensed up over the galloping/rearing horses in the field right next to us, but when I told her to focus on me she did! Yay! It was a struggle but she tried very hard to keep it together and focus on me even though she really badly wanted to freak out over the other horses. Once we got to the street she started to get tense and dance a little but she was still trying. It got too much in front of the house with annoying barking dogs and the lawn mower and she jumped and twirled around in front of me, but she stopped quickly at my correction, got pushed back to her place behind me (well technically next to me but a little back from me since there's no way I would walk directly in front of a horse) and tried very hard to hold it together on the way back to the barn. Passing the ya-hooing horses on the way back she just dropped her head and sighed and walked along with me! I was extremely proud of her!
Then when we were in the grooming room and she was in the cross-ties I heard M. announce, "Cart coming!" and I walked to the front of the groom room so as to not get trampled in the panic, but when Start drove by in the cart right in front of us Toad didn't even blink an eye! Some of the horses in their stalls freaked and ran to the back of their stalls, but I imagine if they'd had their mom standing in the front of the stall like I was standing in the front of the groom room they would've been fine. Still, it was a big improvement that Toad was able to feel safe with me enough to not even blink an eye at something new clanking by. Yay!