This morning I needed to do laundry, because my supply of jeans was getting low. I pulled out a pair that I had mail ordered a couple of years ago that I could never pull up over my thighs. Much to my surprise, they are now loose on me. I looked in the mirror and realized that I was definitely starting to slim down thanks to all the horse walking I've been doing. I've also got some upper arm muscle thanks to the horses pulling on the lead rope over the past few months. Nothing motivates a person to lose weight more than seeing the results of having lost some weight already.
So, I took Lostine on a walk out in the desert. She was nervous and doing a lot of pulling. I used all the tricks the trainer taught me on her, but Lostine is a bit thick-headed. I don't think she understood my point, so I just kept walking her toward the house, and away from the house, this way and that way until she dropped all her expectations. Then I led her home.
I still had a lot of energy later and took Bombay on a walk. Though he still does not stay at the point beside me where I want him to walk, he is tremendously lighter on the lead rope than Lostine now. While Lostine is sort of a huffy-puffy kind of nervous, looking here and there, keeping the rope taut, but not running off, Bombay is a terrified kind of nervous with plenty of spooks in store. He's lacking in confidence in himself and me. I'm still trying to find the key that unlocks his trust.
He went on alert over something off in the distance. I didn't see anything and kept walking. Eventually, two men on horseback appeared on the other side of the arroyo. I led Bombay beside them with the arroyo between us, and he was excited, but well behaved. Eventually, the men rode over to our side of the arroyo and came toward us on the trail. Bombay got really excited being in such close proximity to two new horses and started doing the jig. I had to make him walk, stand and back up a few times before he got his head together.
He relaxes more as we get closer to home, and since we were on flat ground, I decided to jog and see how he reacted. He just walked beside me while I jogged. His strides were long enough that he didn't need to jog himself to keep up with me. I jogged right past home, then jogged back thinking he'd possibly go faster once we turned toward home, but he walked. He politely remembered to poop on the trail instead of on our landscaped driveway, which I appreciated. My husband and I have this joke that when we lead Bombay on the driveway we say, "He should be pooping right about now."
Yesterday he left a pile behind my husband's car and I forgot to clean it up.
Gabbrielle was jealous that she never gets to go for walks. I took her for a short one around the back yard, because I was dehydrated and needed to get in the house for water. She was the lightest of all on the lead rope. She's an odd horse, because she's a powerhouse of energy with her tail and neck arched, and her lilting trot in place, but she doesn't pull on the lead rope. You get the sense that if she decided to take off, she'd rip the rope right through your hands before you knew what happened, so I haven't attempted taking her out into the desert by myself yet.
Bombay and Lostine have gone on enough walks with me that they know the way home should we get split up by some freak occurrence. I've been training them to stop and look both ways before entering a street. I doubt it would have any effect should they get away from me and run home, but fortunately, there isn't much traffic during the day on that road.
Two bunnies jumped out of a bush just one foot in front of us, and Gabbrielle didn't even flinch. Then my phone rang and she stood still while I set up a vet appointment for the dogs. I was deep in thought over my schedule when I realized that Gabbrielle was standing at an odd angle. She had stepped into the bush the rabbits came out of, and there was a boulder in the middle of it. So, she was standing with her front feet on the boulder and her back feet on the ground like a trick pony. She had this expression on her face like she was so proud of herself.
I decided to walk her to the front yard to see how she would do, but she got so excited, almost like a dog that just can't wait to go explore the world, and she began dragging me up the driveway. She totally lost her manners, so I had to turn around and bring her back. She got mad at me and started fighting me, trying to rip the rope out of my hands. So, away she went into the barn to sulk. I think it's so funny that Bombay didn't want to leave the barn when I first started taking him on walks, and Gabbrielle wants to get out and explore so badly that she can't contain her energy. My trainer will start working with her soon, so hopefully I can get her out on the trails safely one day soon.
All in all, I think I walked three miles today, and jogged part of that. January in Arizona feels like July in Nevada. Supposedly, we've got one more month before the rattlesnakes come out, but I'm already seeing lizards, ground rodents, and hummingbirds. It's been nice being able to just truck along on the trails without having to worry about stepping on anything sharp or poisonous or deadly, but now the cholla are dropping fresh balls of spikes everywhere. I had one of those drive itself up into my shoe a few months ago. Ouchy.