Thursday, March 4, 2010

Back to Riding

Exactly one week after Sham got his teeth done I decided to see how he liked the bit, and if things went well I hoped for a nice ride, too.

He continues to be great coming out of the pasture. He is already in the habit of pooping and then coming up to me. He came right out into the airlock and let me halter him up. At that point he let the mud, water, and fence spook him. To be fair, he did receive a shock from the fence earlier today. Robin and our friend Gay were hanging out and feeding him. Robin gently warned him a few times about the fence, but he bumped it with his nose anyways. That sent him running, and it left him keyed up for a good part of the afternoon.

So off Sham went to the other side of the airlock. Spraying me with a decent amount of mud, too. I did get him to come back to me with no problem. I do feel lucky that he likes me.

Inside we got to our usual groundwork routine. He was nervous, but I am getting better at working hard and being effective, and he responds right to it. And since I was planning on asking more of him today, I followed Robin's advice to do intermittent ground work throughout the tacking up process. So we groomed, put on his new saddle (which looks quite good, by the way), then worked on more groundwork, then picked hooves, put in the bit (he was not thrilled about this, but he acquiesced), and then did more groundwork.

At about this time something in the arena made a zapping noise and Sham had his third big bolt of the day. Sham's pretty big, you can hardly see me in the picture below, so his bolts are also big.

This time I was a little bit more prepared, and I hung on to the lead rope. He sheepishly came back to me for lots of pets. I did my best to remain calm, but I was a wee bit nervous. So after more groundwork, Robin offered to hop on.

And he was pretty good. He thought he hated the bit at first, but then he realized that it actually wasn't that uncomfortable. So we are thinking his mouth is close to healed. She just walked around on him for a minute or two and then I climbed up. He was the best he has been so far. We walked lots of figure eights and then did a little bit if easy trotting. He has such a big trot, and he's not used to the indoor arena, so it was rough at times. But we still both remained calm. And I was happy that I didn't need to test out my new helmet, which is rather comfy.

This weekend my parents are coming up for some riding. And with the warm weather forecast, we should be able to get outside in the near future. I think both Sham and myself will be more relaxed on the strip.

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