Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Today when I arrived at the barn there was someone else riding in the arena. Of course, other people who board there have every right to ride in the arena, but this meant I couldn't tack Steen up in the corner like I've been doing. So, instead I took him to the area near the tack-room that has cross-ties, where most people groom and tack up their horses. I clipped Steen's halter to only one of the cross-ties, which is made out of a very heavy-duty elastic, and proceeded to groom him. This went well, because when he pulled on the cross-tie the elastic just stretched out for a while before growing taut. This seemed to calm him rather than making him think, "Oh my god, I'm tied up."

He was very muddy, as we've had more rain, so grooming took a long time, but he didn't get too fidgety, stood calmly for the saddle, accepted the bit without comment and then followed me to the arena.

The other girl had finished up by the time I got in there, so we had the place to ourselves. We worked on stop (he's really not very good at stop) and walk for a long time, then did a fair bit of trotting. Steen has very nice gaits.

The saddle felt good to me, and seemed to feel good to him. He is still sensitive to backwards pressure on the bit, but I already can see him getting over this as he begins to believe I'm not going to yank on his mouth.

We walked and trotted for somewhere between thirty and forty-five minutes, then called it quits. I don't want to demand too much from him physically too quickly, since I know he hasn't carried a rider and worked out hard for a good long time. This was enough of a ride to be real ride, but not enough to over-exert either of us. Nevertheless, when I got in the car, I could feel the tired muscles in my legs.

Then I drove home, very happy indeed.

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