Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm So Hot!!

Today got up into the 70s.  It felt nice to have less clothes on going to the barn.  And I really enjoyed the sun on my forearms.  Bear didn't seem as thrilled as I was.  He was hot, tired, and probably a little hungry.  We also rode outside, and that seemed to lead to some distractions.

I should also admit that I was tired.  After a few minutes of lackluster riding I realized I should focus some more, and then hopefully Bear would be more inclined to do the same.  It kind of worked.  We did a lot of short serpentines, and those got him paying more attention.  I could see he was both more physically flexible and mentally flexible after the exercise. So I tried to build on that by walking around and working on simple soft-feels and stops.  I like to think of Bear as a champion stopper, but not today.

During one of our walks down the strip he got spooked by something.  I'm not sure what.  Maybe a bag or a cornstalk (there was a ton of wind).  One minute we were lazily walking away from the barn and the next he had loaded all his muscles with tension and shot out to the right.  I brought him down with ease.  Or maybe he brought himself down, it was hard to tell.  But it was another good moment for me practicing my riding.  I felt ready for him to bolt back for the barn.  I'm not sure if I actually would have been ready, but the thought was already in my mind and body.  I also think this was the biggest spook I've had in my new saddle.  It felt quite good.  My butt was in there the whole time.

The spook did nothing to wake Bear up and make him more alert.  Too bad.  We just went back to working on the feel and stops, and then added in some trotting as well.  In the beginning his trot felt awful.  Like he was going to collapse underneath me.  I think he was acting, because after a few minutes he was working better and his head was up and his ears were forward.

I know the change of seasons is hard on me, and I'm sure it is the same for the horses, so I'm just trying to get out there consistently and be as patient as I can.

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