Friday, May 24, 2013

Walking Out

I was a little tired this afternoon.  Friday's can get that way a lot.  Especially if we've been getting to the barn a lot that week.  But there was no question whether or not we'd go.  It was absolutely gorgeous out.  High 60s, sun, light wind.

The only question was who to ride.  I didn't really feel up to one of the youngsters, so I suggested we just grab Bear and Steen and go poke around for a while.  Robin was not hard to convince.

We spent just a few minutes walking around the strip and warming up before heading down the drainage and off the property.  Bear felt good for the warmup, but as soon as we started down the hill's drainage I knew things were different.  He had nice energy, but more than that, his hind end was reaching and his back was really loose.  I've never felt him walk down hills like that.  Usually were somewhere between really stiff and a little stiff.  Not today.

We continued down the second strip and over to the dirt road that leads to a long, grassy lane.  We had not ridden out this way since maybe September, but everyone was relaxed about it and happy to be out.

On the grassy section we moved into a trot.  Robin let us take the lead so Bear and I could determine the pace based on how he was feeling.  Still good, apparently.  He was giving me a big, energetic trot.  I kept the reins loose and just looped my fingers over the horn to stabilize my posting a little.  His trot was so big and fast I was having some trouble with it, and if I got out of step with him it generally caused him to accelerate.  But just putting a couple fingers on the horn was enough.  I wasn't grabbing it.  Still, it would be nice to ride perfectly all the time without such crutches.  Stuff to work on.

We stayed on the path all the way down to the B-road.  I kind of wanted to keep going, but I figured it was best to not push Bear too much.  He had some time off and we're just getting things going again.  He still felt great, but no reason to push it.

Thankfully he stayed feeling great the whole way back.  We were even outwalking Steen at a few points.  When we hit the grassy stretch we decided to trot it out again.  This time we really got moving.  Steen and Robin were moving in and out of the lope to keep up.  Bear definitely has fun moving out, but this time I think it might have been because we were pointed towards home.

The ride ended with no troubles.  It was just a fun, trail ride and extremely relaxing.  Exactly the kind of riding I thought I was getting into years ago.  Just goes to show how much you don't know when you don't know things.  But the journey getting here has been totally worth it.

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