Siera is doing well her hoof/frog issues seem to be clearing up.
I should have been exercising her more, but with mud or ice being the normal all around us, I haven't been able to.
However, I was able to get her out and ride her for a bit this past week.
She decided that she wanted to protest every step of the way and be back with her friends in her paddock.
This is pretty much Siera's normal spring behavior. She needs to be weaned from her friends/buddies each spring and learn that yes, she can walk away from them under saddle or on lead.
But sometimes she just needs to stand and think about it.
She is actually getting better at this and realizes that when she is going to toss her head and act like love sick animal, that she will get a time out at the 'naughty' tree.
I let her stand there for about 45 minutes while I did some yard work. She pawed a few times and tossed her head only once or twice.
Then she settled down and stood quietly.
I loved her up and we took a short ride to the ridge. The woods were too slippery and muddy or we would have gone on a nice narrow trail.
When Siera has too much open space and nice even ground, her mind wanders and she thinks more about misbehaving than worrying about her next step over a log or climbing through a ditch.
We worked a cornfield for a while until she realized that I was not going to just turn her in the direction of home.
We did a lot of circles and many 'stand stills'.
When she finally took a deep sigh and moved on with forward ears, I knew that we'd gotten through the first stage of separation.
Since she hasn't had to work most of the winter, I rode her out 1/2 mile and back to get the mail.
It is funny that different animals have different attitudes about leaving the farm. Siera puts up a fuss and eventually quits when she is asked to work a difficult trail.
Lil' Richard was more than happy to leave the farm.
Badger never minded.
Fred brays and vocally carries on for about 1/4 mile, and then steps right out.
Opal used to turn her head towards the farm and walk with one ear turned to home. When we got past that magical mark in the trail, she'd stop and she'd be all attention to detail.
Sunshine will turn her head and may even bray once, but then she marches on. She waits until you aren't paying attention and then will try to turn back home.
I would like to see Siera get over her separation issues, but I also realize that she may never be that kind of mule and I will have to deal with it each spring.
That is okay, she is a fun ride.
Siera's best feature is that she doesn't spook.
She is one of those equine that will lock up and stand still as a statue until she figures out the situation.
I'll put up with her idiosyncrasies if she'll put up with mine.