Saturday, June 9, 2012

Group Riding

Friday evening we received an email that there would be a morning ride at the barn.  We planned on riding in the morning anyways, so we figured we would tag along.

We arrive before most of the others, so we just did our normal thing and headed out to the strip to warm up.  Bear felt wonderful.  He was very excited to see me and hangout.  Last time I rode Laredo, and I wonder if he sometimes feels a little left out.

But more than that, he was feeling good physically.  He was exceptionally soft and willing to move out.  I figured it would be a good day for a long walk/trot trail ride.

After a few minutes Robin and I were joined by four other riders and a little papillon.  All the horses were relaxed and knew each other at least somewhat, and we marched down the strip with no problems.

Overall the ride was uneventful.  For much of it, Bear and I were towards the back and he was not super happy about that.  I guess since he was feeling so good he wanted to be moving out at the front.  But quite a few times I had to hold him back a little bit and make him wait.  He got a little pissy at times, but I just held lightly until he got over it.  I think he understood after a little while.

We wandered through some fields we've never been in and took a shortcut to the big salad bowl.  Once we were there things spread out and Bear knew exactly where we were.  I let him pick his line and he led the whole way back.  I had to work on some leg yields to let the others catch up a little.

Since we were so far out in front, we missed the one exciting moment of the ride.  A big turkey coming out of the brush.  Most of the other horses got a teeny bit excited, but it was really no big deal for any of them.

All in all, the ride was pretty fun.  Going out in a group is not the most relaxing thing for me, but I do think it is good practice for me.  And I know the diversity is good for Bear.  He certainly enjoyed himself.  When we got back to the strip we spent a few minutes trotting and loping.  He was still feeling fast and energetic.  So the reduced work-load seems to be helping him out.

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