Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year!

Got my first ride of the year in today.  It was super cold and snowy, but we had a pretty good time.  I rode Zoey, and she was happy to come in and was very relaxed.  But under saddle, she was a little more tense.  She had two spooks.  I have no idea what caused them, but they were a little surprising since she hasn't spooked at anything in a couple of months.  But we worked through things and still had a pretty good ride.

I have not blogged much last year.  It was definitely my best year of riding, but also my worst year of blogging.  So here are a few highlights from the past couple months.

We did a lot of riding in the treed lot this fall.  One day we let Bear just hang out and eat grass while we rode.  Towards the end of the ride I haltered him from horseback and then practiced moving him around.  I'd never done that from horseback before.

Bear got a little anemic again in the end of the summer.  So we had a lot of easy going rides.  He seems to be coming back nice and strong, though.  He sure does love the vitamins we've got him on.

In the early fall I got out on the trails with Laredo quite a few times.  He was really fun to ride.

And then we went out on the trails after they cut all the crops down.  Laredo was light and full of energy.  So full of energy I thought he could pop at any moment.  We did a lot of work on top of the soybean hill, and Robin snapped this shot just before he took off like a bullet and we galloped back for home.  Never went so fast downhill on a horse before.  Maybe never so fast ever.  We were both fine, though, and I guess it was another one of those 'good' experiences.

Sometime in October it just kind of happened that I took over riding Zoey.  I think it has been good for us (and it was good for Robin and Laredo to spend a lot of quality time together, too).  So here I am with my 'string' of horses.

I got a few good rides on Steen this year.  He is sooo much different than the other three.  It's always an adjustment for me.  But we are having more and more fun together.  We even went out on a trail ride earlier this year, but here we are riding in the big, middle pasture.

I love when the soybean fields have been mowed (except when the horse runs away with me).  We spent a lot of time romping around out there in October and November.

But now we're back in side.  I've had Zoey in the hackamore the last few rides due to the mouth sores she got from the bad bale.  Thankfully she is healing nicely, and she's actually taking to the hackamore quite well.

And after two and a half months, I finally got a ride on Laredo again.  I kinda missed the big kid.  Here he is sporting my new saddle.  I actually got it used (though it still looks new), and it fits me and Bear (and the other horses) perfectly.  I had some saddle troubles this year.  They either weren't fitting me well, or if they did, they bothered Bear's back.  But now we seem to be in business.  For those of you who are curious, it is a 15 in. Brian Castagno, full rough wade out on a Rod Nikkel tree.  The seat is unbelievably awesome.

I got my 200 hours in the saddle goal pretty easily this year, but I also think it was the right amount of challenging.  I'm not sure exactly what my goals for 2014 are going to be.  I know I'd like to ride more than I did this year.  I would also kind of like to start my first horse, but at the moment, we've got a small problem as we still have four horses (Zoey is for sale!).  Oh, and later this week I will give my first lesson.  I have no doubt trying to explain all the things we do on horses will give me a better understanding of it all.  Hopefully the student thinks so too.

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