Heinrich’s Diary: My Excellent FL Adventures: January 2021 - Entry #2

stallJanuary 8, 2021

My Mommy said a bad word (told in the sing songy voice of a tattletale). I thought I was being really good, you know, only a little spooking today. Then she said “No matter where you go in the world there is always ‘THE’ (insert naughty word of your choice) corner”. ???? ???? Was so much fun. I wasn’t even being that bad, just having a good time. When it was time to leave the ring though, I acted like I couldn’t even go out properly.  ????????

So I call her My Mom when she is being naughty, or when she thinks I am being naughty.  When we dance together or just hang out, she’s My Person.

January 9, 2021

We have continued to settle in to our lives here in FL. My person had so much energy until she didn’t. The last two afternoons she was soooo tired. She didn’t even ride me one day. But that’s OK, I figure she needed to rest up so we will be ready to start our serious training with George.  

I’ve finally become comfortable with my waterer and even think its fun. I’m also having fun with my green bottle.  Randy, the farm owner, is so nice because she brings me toys. I even tried to get my new friend Curio to play with me!

January 10, 2021

Well, My Person finally feels like she can ride again. I don’t know what her problem was - everyday she got on and it felt like she was learning how to sit on me again. But finally she feels like normal.

diary photosJust to check in, I sent George a picture because I know he likes Iguanas. You can see this Iguana in today's photo album; I don’t think its an iguana but it was very pretty.  Anyway, I asked George if we still planned to ride tomorrow.

I know My Person promised not to talk about the lovely weather. But it has been nice. Though she is the first one to get cold! Apparently cold in FL is below 70. But she learned not to raise her eyebrows at this ... just wait a week and she will think that too!! I have to say, it was pretty chilly last night - 40 degrees. We wore our sheets. We expected it to be cold today, but it was the nicest day yet!

Little Bro is settling in also. He is loving the attention, the alfalfa cubes, and the view. He lunged earlier in the week and went riding yesterday. He told me that he was a little excited and fussy, but he did behave himself very well.  

George likes my photo!!! And he said he planned to see me at 2:15 tomorrow.  Yay!!!!

Well, that’s it for today.

January 11, 2021

A very exciting day!  So many exciting things to share that  I’m not sure where to start.  

Well, now that I think about it, I’m sure - I will tell you how much George admired me today.

George says I look bigger!!!! (He might have said taller). But either way, that’s amazing, since he just saw me in November. I told him it is all the muscle I’m developing ???? (remember what Nicole said??). He must think I am so beautiful because after I warmed up he said that I looked very very good. (I might have added a ‘very’)

When I told George what we had been doing lately and what our goals were for January and February, he said he had heard that Nicole wanted him to help me do my fancy prancy trot. But we wouldn’t start with all the hard stuff today.  

Speaking of my fancy prancy trot, I have to share my biggest excitement (in a scared way) EVER!!! This was EVEN more exciting than the EMUS!!!! I was so scared!!!

So let me set the stage for my story. (And I have to tell you, my Person is giggling as I tell her what to write. I will let her share why my scared moment is funny to her at the end.  I think she is laughing at herself, not me).    

First, I did pretty well hacking over to George’s farm. When George asked how it was My Mom said ,“Not as crazy as last year in the beginning, but not as good as I was expecting” ...

My ears perked up. “Say What?” There were some exciting things on the way that I hadn’t seen in awhile so I HAD to look at things. On the ride over My Mom liked to say ‘Jeez Heinrich’ and ‘Are you kidding me??’ But she also said a lot, ‘It’s OK’, ‘Take it easy’, ‘we’re fine’.  

So we continued with our lesson. My Person and I were having a wonderful lesson with George. We were floating in the trot, really in sync, I was able to rely on her and listen when I wanted to look at the EMU pen and some other things.

But THEN............ ???? ???? ????!!!!

But then....we were on the short side (same short side as the Emu pen, but I wasn’t scared of him). THERE WAS A ... Oh my god I was Scare-der then I have ever been in my life ... George saw it happen - just as my legs took over he said “Heinrich, haven’t you ever seen a golf cart pulling a horse?”   

Hell to the NO!!! I haven’t seen that horse golf cart thing. Meanwhile I think my person who was really focused, didn’t realize we just went by something scary. But then she felt my legs take over too. And she heard what George said. Then suddenly she realized none of us were in control. I could hear her thinking ... “Am I really getting run away with in the passage??”

Heck yeah I say !!! (I know, I am saying naughty words now too). I snorted, and I mean blew those snorts out so hard that there was a high pitched noise coming out with my snorts. My nose went as high in the air as it could, I think my tail was so high that my person could see it out of the corner of her eye. I took us both right out over the side of the ring. I just couldn’t help it and I didn’t mean not to listen to her.   

Then I think I heard her tell George “I think I’d like to get off now”. So she jumped off and put me on my circles and did what we used to do when we had to do our rope work. This settles me down, and we were able to get back into the ring.  

George was like ... “I thought you had an Arabian for a minute”. She said, yes, with that snorting and the tail straight up, he’s definitely more Arabian than warm blood right now.  

Phew, that was so scary. I don’t think my person was ever on me when I was so scared. But she (and she is my person now because she had my back and wasn’t mad at me) understood how terrified I was and tried to help me feel safe and confident again.  

But why is she giggling now?  Well, the story goes back to her previous horse Amicelli and her friends Dede and Peter Bierbrauer and how “Grand Prix Lead Line” was born. (She was laughing so hard about what happened today and how it reminded her of this story, that she had to call them right away).

So Amicelli was pretty new to her, so she didn’t know him that well. He had been on stall rest and she had just legged him up. Amicelli was living at Peter and Dede’s barn and they would coach My Person and Amicelli. This particular day was the first day she was to ride Amicelli outside. Well, they leave the indoor and walk to the outdoor ring and Amicelli got really excited. Like today, Amicelli’s legs took over and there were legs everywhere. Amicelli and My Person were spinning around and super excited. Dede said “Barb, get off”. Normally this is not something she would do. But Dede said “get off” and My person yelled “get off?” And Dede was like, “yes, get off” and my person was like “It’s OK to get off?” ... Dede, “Yes, get off NOW”. She got off... and thus. ‘Grand Prix Lead line was born’ because when she got back on Peter led her around and then even did it at their first shows together!   ???? ???? ????

Ok, deep breath. Now back to our lesson. George decided to change things up and go to the canter. We told George we had been working on ultra collected canter steps. My Person said she always thought she was really collected until George or Nicole said she really wasn’t.  

Hahahaha ... wouldn’t you know it, we started the exercise and as My Person thought she was doing this really nice collected canter THEN George says. “And now collect”.  Oh my, that was some comic relief to hear her think that after being so scared. But it was also really hard work. George thought if she kept me bent nicely to the inside and really round, this helped me to do the ultra collected canter more easily. He also told her to be more daring to collect more promptly - he said the worst thing that can happen is I walk. Well, he was a little wrong....turns out the “worst” thing is that I do a flying change. I was trying really hard, and sometimes it was just easier to switch leads then hold that canter.  

We ended with some fun trot. We did collected trot, forward trot, collected trot. Many transitions going around the ring. As we did it, my trot got fancier and fancier. We didn’t even need a golf cart to get it.  And even though we weren’t going to do any hard stuff, today, I ended up doing my fancy prancy trot!  

So our first lesson with George came to an end with promise of many great things to come in the next two months. Our ride back home went pretty well, until the sprinklers came at me from my left, and the donkeys came at me from my right. Whoa, not sure how much more I could take today. I didn’t even know which way to go. I got stuck between the two just standing and leaning so far trying to decide which way to go I think my Person’s boot could have touched the ground.

But, we gathered ourselves and made it by, and finally got back to the barn after a lot of excitement this afternoon!

Whew, what an exciting day. But we ended up safe and sound and happy.

That’s it for now!!

Your Friend,

Ps. I forgot that after my excitement during my lesson, one of George’s students said that she could take me off My Person’s hands if she wanted. And then George even offered to make a trade with the bay horse in the field.
Well, I can’t imagine MY Person would EVER entertain this idea.  It’s bad enough we have a Little Bro, BUT she would never trade me.

Contact Barbara Strawson

Misty Gleann Training Facility

Barbara's training business is based at her facility, Misty Gleann, which is located at 12900 Lewisdale Road, in Clarksburg, MD 20871.  Get directions to Misty Gleann.