When I took her out of her stall to groom her, her head was high, she was very "looky" and the whites around her eyes were showing. I wasn't sure what that was all about, as the barn seemed quiet except for some machinery outside. I groomed and tacked, and it quickly became apparent that Maisie was in heat - she was paying excessive attention to the gelding across the aisle. When I took her to the indoor, she started calling and looking around - her attention was everywhere but on me. I mounted up and we did some walk work. She was still calling from time to time, particularly when we walked by a door to the outside or to the barn - sometimes she does a "half-call" where her body shakes and she makes a strangled half-whinny - it's very funny. She felt pretty up, so to be on the safe side, since I was at the barn by myself, I got off, closed all the gates to the indoor, and took off her bridle to see if she needed to run and play. She just stood there, perfectly still, but staring off into the distance and very alert. OK, no running needed. I got back on, and we went to work at the walk - some figures and some inside leg to outside rein work.
After a bit she was focussing somewhat better, although still calling from time to time. So we moved up to trot, and she was just fine. In order to help her continue to regain her focus, I used lots of changes of rein and direction. We did two long sets of trot work interspersed with some walking. We're only doing large circles and shallow turns, but because it was just us in the indoor, we could do all sorts of figures all over the ring around and between the jumps that were set up. The longer we worked, the more focussed she became. She was able to maintain a relaxed trot pace, which was what I wanted. It turned out to be a good session, although it didn't look like it was going to be at the beginning.
When I took her back into the barn and untacked her, she managed to leave a large puddle that I had to clean up - for the pony in the stall next to where she was standing, who happens to be a mare! Those of you with mares understand these things, those without are probably shaking your heads. I was pleased that Maisie was able to regain her focus and work with me for a productive conditioning session. That's the most marish she ever gets, and I'll take that.
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And tonight for dinner there was an excellent stir-fry - broccoli and kohlrabi from our organic farm share, asparagus from the farmers' market, garlic scapes from my garden, along with some sliced onion, tofu and chopped carrot, seasoned with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil, all served over soba noodles. I love stir-fry because I can prep most of the vegetables ahead of time, saving the garlic and onions to chop while the harder vegetables are cooking.
Here are the harder vegetables cooking while the onions and garlic scapes wait their turn:
And the final result - yum!
And the final result - yum!