I had ordered a shorter smaller one that looked like I would be able to womanhandle. It finally came yesterday via the postman's truck. A round pizza tray thing that had the other postal workers wagering what the hell it was. I rolled it down the driveway and into the house. Sat on the floor in the kitchen with tool bag and scissors. Cut off the plastic covering and saw circular wood pieces wired together. Was the wire for packing or was it an intragel part of the pedestal? Decided for packing so got out the wire cutters and snipped away.
Now I have four pieces of wood and 12 bolts and an allen wrench. No instructions. Can't be that difficult. Lets see top - check, bottom ring - check, two pieces that must be the base - check. As I turn the top over and around I notice a yellow dot. Ah ha!!!! Line that up with matching yellow dot on one of base pieces and away we go. Fully assembled! And I can indeed womanhandle it.
Can't wait to see Cici's thoughts of this new pedestal. So in the morning I load it into the trunk of my car and off to the barn. Even though its vacation week when I get there this morning it is quiet and peaceful. I load the pedestal and stuff into a wheelbarrel and roll it up to the indoor. I putter around, set up the ring with NEW pedestal, barrels, cones. And invite Cici to join me.
Of course first I have to remove the snow balls from her hooves. This is turning out to be a perfect reason for asking her to lift her feet. I've struggled with it and have had lots of excuses why not to bother. But now I have a reason to! And she is soft and understanding and willing. Amazing the effect attitude, my attitude, makes. Hmm how interesting!
Then "Look at what is in the middle of the ring!" and she walks to it. Looks at it, looks at me So? "Its a lower pedestal, that you can easily step up onto!" So? Hmm, of course I had been envisioning her seeing the new pedestal and putting all the pieces together and walking right up to it and stepping on it. She quickly paws at the top of the pedestal. She also steps right up to it and stands on the lower ring base. Since the footing is soft the pedestal shifts, rocks up. Guess if it was on hard ground this would not happen. But....She doesn't seem concerned and paws some more. I hold her leg still on the top and stroke it. She paws some more.
Right now she is not as fixated on this pedestal as she is on the big huge high step one in the corner. When play with circling she spies it and tries to make a beeline for it. Sigh. New exciting toy is new exciting toy for ME apparently. Not her. Well maybe not yet.
I take my time playing the games. We are working on 360 turns. Get 180s and building on those. More sideways. More backing with me being more particular. More particular at circling. Still thinking provocative. Or trying.
Today we are going to move onto freestyle. I saddle her up and two kids show up in the ring. Lesson kids. Oh No! Not again. Its been so quiet and I'm enjoying not feeling any pressure and doing what I do. So I tell them that the lesson is not on the board and I want the ring - alone - for another half hour. They say they won't be mounting for at least that time.
But when they get their horses they leave the one who hates to be left. He is left in a stall along the indoor's wall and now he is screaming, spinning and rearing. What happened to my quiet morning. Trainer finally shows up and puts him outside where he can run and rear and scream. She also tells the kids they are going to start their lesson in the outside ring. Thank the heavens.
I mount. Finally. I think its been 2 weeks since the last time in the saddle. And I just sit there, waiting for Cici to chew. And I sit there waiting for Cici to chew. And I sit there waiting for Cici to chew.She finally does. So we walk a couple of steps and she stops. Thanks can we walk on? Couple of steps and stops.
By now another rider is trotting around and cantering around on the track. So we are in the middle of the ring. Backing. Walk a couple of steps and stop. Sigh. Neither one of us is focused. I am just happy to feel comfortable on her. Then I notice snow sliding off the roof. Just little pieces. Just to be safe I dismount since the other day when I was playing on the ground and the snow slide off the roof Cici leapt in the air.
I land and then the entire roof full of snow showers down. And boom boom boom. Cici startles and runs forward but I'm holding onto the reins. Her nose is long and she is worried. I walk her around the ring for a bit. Show her the wall where the snow fell - high windows. And she lowers her head and licks and chews.
Remount and she is fine. I am fine. We walk in a large circle while other rider is still cantering around on the track. I notice more snow sliding past the windows and dismount again. Another large chunk of snow falls and this time Cici doesn't appear to be as concerned. I play a little stick to me and walk and trot the ring with Cici and know that more snow is coming down. So I call it a day for riding.
When I get her back in her paddock yet another chunk of snow dislodges and crashes to the ground. She just stands in her paddock and watches.