Monday, May 20, 2013

Just the Two of Us

As I said in the previous post, I felt a little bad with how I rode Bear.  I had to get out to the barn to get him the last of his meds and the first of his new supplement, so I figured I would make it up to him and have a nice, easy ride.

It helped that we weren't confined to the arena.  We've spent more time there in the last six months than we usually do, and I think its wearing on me.  Usually I don't mind it, and I'm thrilled we have access to it, but I really like being outside.  Today the sun was up and the wind was blowing cool, dry air in.

Bear and I did a few easy circles on the strip and then headed out.  He was pretty game walking down the drainage and over to the second strip.  As we continued I could feel he was a little anxious.  We never really go out alone.  This was actually only our second time doing it.  With the wind blowing hard, he was really looking around a lot.  But his body felt good and relaxed.  And I think that is the most important thing.

The end of that strip has some new grass laid down, and it was a little muddy.  I had planned on going all the way up to the corner of our vet's land, but trampling the tiny blades of grass didn't seem nice.  Instead I followed the edge of the field for a short ways and used a new drainage.

Well, not new.  It's old, but I only recall walking up it once a few years ago.  It snakes up into the hillside.  Bear was excited at first because the trajectory was initially towards home.  But then he had a different excited feeling when he realized we were going farther.

I just kept moving him from one side to the other with my legs and checking in to see how he would respond to the bit.  Everything was totally fine, and I think he ended up having fun.

I snapped a few pics.  They're a whole lot more boring when it is just you and the fields.  The best I could do was get Bear's ears in there.

  
Making our way up the new drainage.
And back down the drainage.
On the way home he was something of a power walker.  As Bear is normally a bit of a plodder, I just enjoyed it.  He was very barn focused, though.  So when we hit the turn for home I made him walk past it and give me a few nice tear drop bends before heading up.  He didn't get mad at those, instead they really helped him relax and focus.  I know bending helps horses, but it is always nice to feel it.

Back on the strip we walked around some more and then trotted a few circles.  These were excellent going to the left.  I was really surprised.  Then going right we had a spot where he was dropping in and surging forward.  It was on a slight downhill, but really, it was so so slight.  He should be able to handle it.  So each time we went around I played around with body position and (very) light rein contact to see if I could encourage him to stay even as we moved through it.  In the end we got a couple of really nice circles, and I was happy how easy it was to work through it.

As always, it was a lot of fun to spend time with just my horse.

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