I'm thankful that I live in the country, among a few small towns and close enough to a city when, or if, we want to add some culture or something along those lines.
I've always enjoyed the views, and try to be mindful of the vistas that I pass by, instead of being lost in my thoughts, or just driving mindlessly. There are several locations that would be wonderful to have a home for the views alone. We are situated between the "Coast Range" mountains, which is small as far as mountain ranges go, and on the east side we have the "Cascades", which is much more substantial and contains our famous peak, Mt. Hood. We can also see Mt. St. Helens (or what's left of her) which was the mountain that blew her top back in 1981 (?) or so. Our very own local volcano! It's beautiful, but also kind of creepy to go and see the blast zone which is coming back to life.
Farms and farm fields, wineries and grapes.
And one of my favorites, a working old-fashioned windmill overlooking a serene pond, usually filled with swimming ducks...so peaceful.
Last night I spent some time working with Eagle. What a mixed bag. It started out great, walked right up when I called him, spent some time grooming and then did some in-hand work, saddled him and did some more. He was like butter. Relaxed, focused and seemed to be enjoying our time spent together, until...I decided to mount him. He acted like he was totally freaked out by my getting on him. I worked and worked and worked with him, and in the end it was getting dark and I had to go back to something we could end on a "happy place" with. *sigh* I swear, it's like taking 2 steps forward and 1 step backward with this horse. I was so discouraged, but just decided to let it go and believe that we will get there. It's just a minor set-back. The problem is, I don't know what to do differently than what I was doing, for the next attempt. He repeatedly would back up very fast when I'd lift my foot for the stirrup, or if my hubby held him, he'd swing his butt away from me, and fast. I have to use the mounting block because I'm not able to just stick my foot in and away we go...I put my foot in, give a bounce or two, them hoist myself aboard. And that, Eagle will not stand still for. Good grief...
There were times when I wanted to lose my patience with him. But I didn't. Eagle already knew he was acting inappropriately because if I'd life my arm, or reach out to touch his side, or even just the saddle, he'd fly sideways like I was going to whack him. When that would happen, I'd just ignore it and move on. Wish I could get my hands on whoever it was that did whatever it was to this horse and just throttle them!!! Because whatever it was...it has almost ruined a sensible, gentle, kind and undeserving horse. He was robbed of any confidence or trust he once had in people. He trusts me. But, that fear is ingrained deep. Very, very deeply.
Tomorrow night we'll just begin again. And again and again and again; until we make that much-needed breakthrough again. It sure didn't do any good for Eagle, when my hubby took that fall off of him recently. We just have to go through this, to get past it. Poor Eagle, he just doesn't yet realize, how thoroughly stubborn and relentless I can be...
I would definitely appreciate any wisdom some of you might have though...any ideas or suggestions on exercises or whatever, that we can work on. I'm running out of ideas that are creative and engaging. I don't want either one of us to get bored. *sigh* Help...