I feel mildly lame for not coming up with a more clever blog title here but I'm running blanks for something that I haven't used before besides "Great Day", "Another Great Day", "A Great Day with Aspen"... haha

The other day while I was playing with Aspen I thought I saw some big bird flying in the trees by the barn but couldn't get a clear look at what it was or where it went and didn't give much thought to it afterward.  Well today I hear all this peeping and squaking and look up to see a handful of small birds chasing this huge owl away from the barn!  It turns out this big bird that I saw the other day is this gorgeous owl that must live somewhere in/around the barn.  It was absolutely gorgeous - my first real close encounter with an owl in the wild.  Wish I had a better camera so I could have zoomed in more.

Aspen eagerly met me at the gate today, she has such a strong connection with me when I arrive it's just awesome!  Now, this might be a moment of too much information, but I always have to pee by the time I get to the barn after having just finished my usual latte on the way out.  There's no bathroom so I always mosey into her paddock and then go hide in the corner of the shelter and pee in the sand.  The last two days Aspen has not only met me at the fence, but purposefully followed me into the shelter, waiting patiently with her nose two inches from my facae while I pee, then follows me all the way back to the fence again where I'll halter her and take her into the arena.  :)  For the first time today I just led her by a string around her neck, and even through the tall lush grass in the field, she didn't stop once or pull away to try and graze.

We warmed up at liberty today, did a few jumps, squeeze games, sideways - all really great expression and connection.  We then played on the 45' line again today!  So happy with that line!  I just love the lightness and feel of it!  Played with the games at a greater distance and got some great changes of direction at the canter on-line, as well as a more exuberant weave and figure-8.  Her draw with the longer line has been really amazing.  She's even offering to canter toward me.  The only problem is I can't manage my stick and all that rope very fast to prevent her from stepping on it as she comes in!  I have to abandon my stick and just start frantically reeling in line as she runs to me!  Pat makes it look so easy on all his DVDs!  I know it's only my second day with it, but sheesh, that's a lot of coordination going on there.

We did some super, awesome, great, wonderful fast canter circles using all the 45' line in the field and had her drawing back into me nice and calm and left brain.  I finished the morning by sitting on her while she grazed in the big field.  Kind of hurt my stitches a bit but totally worth it!  Can't wait to get these darn things out so we can get back to freestyle!

My view from Aspen while sitting on her.

L to R: Irene, Cowboy, Cookie, and Dotty's hind end.  They came over to see what Aspen and I were up to in the big field.

Aspen on the 45' after having performed a very nice sideways! :)