Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Evening at the Barn

After we both spent the day at work, Brian and I decided to head out the barn for a little evening ride. Due to Steen's continued shoulder infection, I have been out to treat it every day this week, and since I've been out there every day anyway, why not ride, right? The result of a whole week of daily work has definitely made a change in Steen. He is completely mellow on all the ground and grooming stuff now, and he has made definite progress relaxing under saddle. I have been making a point not to ask too much of him when I'm riding so he can be less nervous, and also to spend more time on his back doing various silly things while he stands still to help him learn he doesn't always have to move his feet.

Since Steen's been so good lately, I thought this afternoon a perfect time for Brian to try out riding in the outdoor arena for the first time. This went quite well, and both Brian and Steen peformed beyond expectations.

After Brian rode for a while we switched places, and I sped things up a bit. Steen is getting better at loping with more control and collection, but he is still prone to sudden crazy and unepected turns. Luckily, I still find speed exhilerating, so I don't mind.

After the ride, Brian and I spent quite a while grooming Steen outside, letting him graze. It was a perfect evening, with beautiful, warm slanting sunlight and the temperature so mild and pleasant. Steen is getting to be so relaxing and fun to be around, and it is particularly gratifying to see him behaving so well for someone other than me.

Beyond that, I was pleased to see that Steen's shoulder has healed a lot, so my week of way more driving than I'm used to has paid off in more ways than one.

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