When I went out on the trail on Monday the bugs were pretty bad and going for Cici face and neck. She was doing a lot of head flipping, trying to get them off. Rebekah commented that I had forgotten my swish. I said I left it behind because I hadn't checked Cici out with it.
Well I did today. She was in the barn and I just took it out of my cubby and she startled in place. Hmmm how interesting. So I added it to the pile of stuff I was taking to the outdoor ring. Who needs a carrot stick when there is a swish?! She was quite leery of it. So lots of approach and retreat - walking away and letting her catch up. Waving it about. Gently letting it touch her side. Just taking my time. No hurry. No big deal. And after about 20 minutes I could swish her face from either side, up over her ears, under her jaw, up and down her neck. I friendlied the swish all over her body.
By the time I had tacked her up and mounted—from the left—I was able to swish her from the saddle. And this was a good thing because Kara showed up and we went out for a late afternoon/early evening ride in the woods. The bugs were out biting and I was able to swish Cici free of them.
Oh another first. First time we lead the whole way. She wasn't sure at the beginning going past Patrick's paddock. But I just asked and she went on. She quickly took the responsibility of leading seriously and didn't make many attempts to eat. So I was able to ride on a relatively casual rein. Those firsts sure seem to be piling up.
Decisions, part 2
3 hours ago