Saturday, August 28, 2010

The First Rides

After work on Friday, I rushed home, made a cup of tea, ate a snack, and headed out to the barn with Robin. It was day two of Bear's stay in his new home, and we wanted to check on him. If things looked good, we were hoping for a short ride, too.

And things were better than good. No one is picking on Bear. In fact, he has a couple of friends in the herd already. But he doesn't prefer the herd to me. At least not that I can tell. When I walked up to him he kindly let me halter him and lead him out of the huge, green pasture and into the arena.

Everything was going so well that Robin and I thought I should get on and ride. That was great, too. We walked and trotted around. Bear stops and stands like a champ, and he's pretty supple when it comes to neck reining. I felt very relaxed and in control with him. So then we rode out of the arena with Robin and Steen and went for a stroll down one of the big green strips.

Again everything was great. He's not scared of trampolines, silos, big farm machinery, cars, crunched cans, or anything so far as we can tell. The ride was great. I think it might have been the best Friday-at-the-barn yet. And that's saying something, cuz we've had some pretty fun Fridays at the barn.

Nothing like a great roll to celebrate a fun ride.

Saturday morning we went for a repeat. And it really was quite a repeat. He was great coming out of the pasture, even more relaxed while tacking up, and better at stopping, standing, and neck reining when I hopped on in the arena. I only rode inside for about 3 minutes this time. We just wanted to make sure that he wasn't sore or bothered by anything.

Then we went out into the fields with Robin and Steen, and they showed us some new places to ride. There is another big rolling strip of grass on the west side of Wapsi that is really great to ride on. It was so big that we didn't even get to check out all of it.

He also doesn't mind when I fish around in my pocket for the camera and then take shots along the ride.

I'm trying to make these rides fun and easy. Bear is a little out of shape. So for now it's lots of walking up and down hills and a little trotting thrown in. Yesterday's ride was 45 minutes, and today we went for an hour. It will be fun to watch his physical progression grow along with our relationship. Hopefully in the not too distant future we'll be able to get some long loping rides on those lovely strips of grass.

I'm not really sure why I feel the need to keep the halter around his neck when I'm putting his fly-mask on, all he ever wants to do is hangout with us after the rides.

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