Had a splended time with Aspen on Monday 9/5. Matt was home after being gone for nearly 2 months working in the oil fields and was gracious enough to come out and play photographer while I spent time with Aspen. I was really hoping for a quiet, relaxing evening after the craziness of work over Labor Day weekend however the night turned out to be anything but that. 

We brought all of our dogs to the barn (5) and the barn owner's dogs were out too, making 8, running around! Emma was out playing with the dogs and setting up obstacles for them in the arena where I was playing with Aspen, and Matt was wandering around trying to get the perfect shot. It was not bad chaos, but busy and loud none the less. It really tested my focus and my connection with Aspen as we played the games. I am flexible in a lot of areas of my life and one area I really want to create more flexibility is when things don't turn out like I plan to have more emotional fitness and go with the flow of things instead of resisting whatever is happening that I cannot change. Aspen was a star on-line and was even good enough that Emma was able to learn a few new things with her! :)

Even with all the commotion of the evening I really wanted to ride and Aspen was pretty connected to me so after I got the dogs and Emma settled down so I had a safer environment I got on.  Shortly after I mounted the barn owner came out to feed all the horses! lol I just couldn't catch a break!  Aspen was then focused on all the other horses eating and wanting to leave rather than being a partner. At first I was frustrated because I just wanted some peace and quiet and a good ride, but then I realized what I had was an "Oh Boy!" moment, an opportunity to play with our connection under saddle, her focus and relaxation, and trust in me as a leader even when other things and distractions are going on. It was a good test of BOTH of our emotional fitness' and I am very pleased to say that I got some really great deep breathing and blowing from Aspen about half way through our ride when she visibly gave up the idea of trying to leave and eat with the other horses. :)

We finished our ride with some great 9-step back ups and a lot softer feel in the halter.  

Emma helping me drive Aspen over to our ball.

Emma helping observe Aspen for signs of fear or confidence.  She knows to look for head position, ears, eyes, and licking and chewing :)
Ahh, my left hand totally ruined this shot!  I was explaning something to Matt when he took this. lol
Aspen's thing for a while has been to try and put her feet on things, but now that's what she does.  Finds something, puts her foot on it, then looks to me for approval.  Smart lil' pony makes up her own tricks!
There she's at it again :)  And this time posing too!

All the photos that look like there are multiple horses are actually just Aspen and I and a cool setting on the camera showing us in a series of frames but all in one picture.

Here Matt is trying to take a self portrait of him and Aspen but she moved.

Second attempt at self portrait and Aspen is still not cooperating, lol.

I offer to take their photo together and she clearly wants no part of this!
Finally someone who wants to take a picture with Matt.... sort of... lol! :)