Friday, May 09, 2008

Leaps and Bounds

Fortunately, only figurative ones.

Yesterday was another good ride. I went out in the morning before work and Steen was still mostly clean in the spots I'd manged to get mud-free yesterday, so grooming wasn't too much of a challenge. I tacked him up but left the bridle off this time and attached my 12 extra feet of rope to his rope-halter to use as reins. Then went to the arena. As I suspected, he was significantly more responsive without the bit in his mouth - much more willing to stop and generally more relaxed. So, clearly I need a new bit and headstall combination for him. For now, I can just ride him in the rope-halter, but that's not a permanent solution if trail-riding in unknown territory is in my future.

The ride was good - we did a lot more trotting and worked one the idea that the trot is the same speed even if we are in one of the "scary" parts of the arena. His stopping was much improved and so were his turns, though it's going to be quite a while before those are on a dime, I think.

Anyway, I can't believe the progress we've made in less than two weeks. I have to take today off due to my 9-5 at the gallery, but should be able to get some good riding time in this weekend.

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