Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday the Thirteenth

And it was wonderful.  I finally feel back to my normal routine of working, exercising, and riding. This afternoon we drove out to the barn to hang out with the guys and check out Steen's leg.  He was hanging out in the indoor arena with another injured horse when we arrived.  I left Robin to tend to his leg and tromped through the drifted pasture to get Bear.  The gates were opened up to let them get into the low lying areas of the other pastures, so horses were everywhere and I couldn't see Bear. 

Turns out he was on the other side of the bail, out of the wind with his head absolutely buried in the middle of it.  When I walked around the bail and saw him I said, "hey big Bear," and he pulled his head out and jumped straight up before he realized it was me.  Kind of funny.  I'd never startled him like that.

Inside he was a little restless since Steen was getting treats and he wasn't.  But he calmed down and I got him groomed and tacked.  After a brief bit of groundwork I hopped on.

He was quiet and pretty responsive.  Since our last rides have been pretty bad with the feel, I had planned on really focusing on that.  Particularly at the trot.  We started at the walk, and he was good.  He only picked up a little trot a couple times when I didn't ask, but I was able to soft feel him back to a walk.

After we were warmed up I asked for the trot.  We spent many minutes working on feel.  Once I would get it three or four times in a row, I would then use the feel to bring him down to a walk.  He was continually improving at both of those things.  So then we went for the lope.

And the lope was awesome.  Robin watched as I loped around and around with a big smile on my face.  I was really able to direct him around the arena with my legs, and since things were so smooth, I felt I could work on transitions more than I have been recently.  So we got some walk, trot, lope, trot, walk, lope, walk, stop, etc.  Every time I asked for the lope he picked it up with ease (except once).  He also gave me the biggest stop I've ever felt.  Robin was laughing at me as I fell forward a bit.  But Bear just stood there licking his lips knowing he did an excellent job.

I cooled him out for a few minutes and then called it a ride.  We only rode for 30 minutes, but I swear it was much longer than that.  When I hopped off I had to look at my watch multiple times, because I couldn't really believe it.  I suppose that is a sign of a good ride.

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