Monday, August 20, 2012

More Group Riding

Sunday we hit the trails as a foursome again.  There was the possibility of it being a much bigger group, but this size felt nice.  One of our friends came with us for the first time.  She was on her older, gray Arabian, and they were great.

We couldn't do sections of what has become our normal route due to the eventing competition at Catalpa Corner, but we still covered some good distance and revisited the salad bowl, which we had not been to in a while.

I rode Bear and he was really quite good.  After a long warm up we hit the treed, grassy lane and moved everyone out into the trot.  This is where Bear got really excited and sick of being stuck behind other horses.  Robin suggested I move past her and see how he went.  I did so and he went just fine.  Great even.  He had some high stepping trots to begin with, but then he really settled into a nice, ground covering trot.  It is funny, he will walk behind other horses all day long, but I guess he can't stand trotting behind others.  When we hit another section of dirt and trotted for a while we just went to the front right away and again it solved our "problem." I'll be curious to see how this goes in the long run.  I certainly don't want to be the person who must be in the front when we're going faster.  That kind of stuff gets ridiculous, but I was happy to not get into the trap I was in last weekend of pulling on his nose too much.  I don't like being there.

When we looped back to the barn the horses were all keen to turn in, but we veered in the other direction and they were all surprisingly OK with that.  We trotted up and down the big grassy hills, and this time I was in third.  Bear was occasionally getting excited, but he was also a little tired, so that definitely helped.  Steen was up front, and something in the tall grasses caught his attention and he made a big leap sideways.  Almost at the same time Bleikka and Bear also dove to the left.  No one got in any trouble.  I was actually feeling really good that I stuck on Bear's back so easily and just moved with him.  These little things on trail rides are continually boosting my confidence.

We never stopped after the little spook, we just kept moving right along.  The others got a little ahead of us, so I suggested to Bear that we lope up a small rise to catch them.  He dug in so hard with his haunches that I'm not sure I have ever felt power like that before.  I slowed him down somewhat abruptly at the top, since that isn't really what I had in mind.  So much for being low energy, I guess.

The rest of the ride was nice and relaxing.  We chatted and walked and trotted all through the salad bowl and then back to the barn.  Once there we worked on a few things on the strip and Bear was great with the no-handed figure-eights and some nice, relaxed loping.

The nights are really starting to cool off here.  It feels great after many hot weeks of summer, but it means the grasses aren't coming up like they were.  And the horses are already getting in that "winter is coming and I'm starving" mindset, so we let them graze for a while on the yummy stuff they can see from the pasture but never eat. It was such a nice morning that we didn't mind all the extra haning out time.

No comments:

Post a Comment