Friday, July 27, 2012

Back to Some Afternoon Riding

I love the days when I can get off work in the afternoon and Robin and I can head to the barn.  There is usually no one else there, and it can make for an exceptionally relaxing ride.  Fridays are almost always quiet, so I was excited when I got off work and the temps were mild, there were big puffy clouds in the sky, and a nice breeze from the north.

It was my turn to ride Laredo.  It would be our first ride since he threw in some bucks last weekend.  Based on how relaxed he was during grooming and tacking, I'm not sure he even remembered that he was unhappy with me riding him last time.  Still, out on the strip I spent a few extra minutes working on groundwork.  He was attentive and trying, but I did noticed during one of our exercises he was much stiffer going from left back to right.  Or I wasn't as clear in asking for that.  Either way, we practiced it a little bit more and made some teeny progress.  I'll have to keep watching for how this goes in the future.

Under saddle he was great.  Moving off my legs, giving to the bit, stopping, backing and all the things we've been working on.  I think he was actually having fun with the ride.  After a little time checking in on everything we moved into the trot.  While we were walking figure-eights I could feel that he was spending more and more time back on his haunches.  This also proved true when we started trotting.  He wasn't back quite as much as he was at the walk, but it was a noticeable improvement over some of our previous trots.  He also only took what felt like a couple sore steps, and they were at the beginning.  So his feet are definitely toughening up.

Laredo stayed relaxed through all of our trotting, but he was not bending and responding to my legs quite as well as he does at the walk.  So at times he would get a little stiff and then I would get stiff and then he would get forward and then I would lean forward and pull (probably) too hard on the bit.  But each time we were able to come through and not run into the bean field or hit the gate, and then we would have a few more strides of nice, balanced trotting.

I think I spent more time trotting him this ride than I ever have before.  And they were longer sessions of trotting, too.  He even got pretty tired at the end.  Thankfully our steering issues improved each time we trotted.  I would sometimes get a little frustrated and share my problems with Robin.  She'd watch and then tell me things looked better than I made them sound.  Because they were.  We would notice something else to focus on, then I'd walk a few circles and figure-eights and get back to the trotting.  Sure enough, that time would be better, too.  It made for a very positive feeling ride, and I think Laredo was genuinely happy with his job.

The bucking from our last ride wasn't too much fun, but we got through it.  And I think now we are back to improving.  So if we only have a ride or two of backsliding every few weeks, that doesn't sound too bad for a young horse.  Oh, and we will have some fun comparisons as there is a new 3 year old solid Paint living in our herd.  He and Laredo fast became best buddies.  They are almost the exact same age, but they seem to be mature and immature in completely different ways.  It will be neat to watch them grow.

No comments:

Post a Comment