Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Solo Lope

A few weeks ago Robin gave me Steenblog rights because I was starting to get out to the stables on Tuesdays for "guys night" (which mostly includes Steen and I). The first outing was not so great as it was the day after Steen got his teeth floated.

The second outing was a little bit better. Steen was good for the grooming. And he started out so relaxed for me in the indoor arena. But then another boarder came in to longe her pregnant horse. Thankfully I had ridden Steen a couple of times while other people were longing, so I felt like I would be fine. And for the most part I was. Steen would speed up when he got close to Damara (Robin thinks he has a crush on her) and try to follow her path. Steen and I are still working on our steering, so I looked a weee bit foolish trying to control my horse. Thankfully they only longed for about 20 minutes. After that I had the arena to myself and Steen and I did what we do best, cruising at the trot. This kept both of us calm and it was a nice way to finish off the ride.

Tonight's ride was the best yet, though. Steen was an angel while I was grooming him. He had the lowest head carriage I had ever seen when it was just the two of us hanging out. He was responsive (all be it a tad slow) during our groundwork exercises. And his cruising trot was so slow and relaxed it was putting us both to sleep.

So after twenty minutes of trotting I worked up the courage to lope him. I had my first lope with Steen on Sunday. We were outdoors and it was not the greatest experience for either of us. I was giving mixed signals, and he quickly figured out that by turning fairly tight circles he could drop the lope and keep the ride rough enough for me that I couldn't do much about it other than stop him. I did learn quite a few things from Robin, though, so it wasn't a total waste.

But tonight I was able to keep him loping. And I must say it was rather exhilarating. A few times he would drop into a fast and choppy trot, but I was able to urge him on and he started doing that less and less. I was having so much fun and was so comfortable on him (thanks to the death grip I had on the back of the saddle) I was planning on loping for a long time. But after about 10 minutes the barn worker started moving lots of horses around for dinner and they got agitated. Those agitated horses in turn agitated Steen. So I did not press my luck.

Instead we went back to what we do, cruising at the trot. Hopefully in the next few outings Steen and I will make cruising at the lope what we do, because cruising at the trot is getting boring.

1 comment:

  1. Hah Ha! So THIS is where you have been blogging. I guess I have not been by the Steen site in quite a while but it is good to see that you are still touching quill to parchment in the parlance of our times and you should totally wait out a group ride out there on one of your guys only Tuesday nights and thunder out a stop ahead victory!

    Of course, I dunno what agitated bike racers might do to Steen's demeanor, but I am pretty sure I can imagine what he would do to the rides demeanor.

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