Saturday, November 07, 2009

This is November?

Today found Brian and I at one of the oddest stores in town.

Buying grain.

To haul to the barn. Luckily this was possible, since all our tack is no longer in my trunk, but rather in a tack locker.

The weather has been gloriously, unseasonably warm the last few days. We found Steen and Cal sweating even before we started riding, unable to take their woolly coats off.

As part of the barn was away at a show, the trailer was gone. Brian and I had to improvise by tying to the upright posts of the indoor arena. And that worked out well.

Our ride was nice. I've lately been reading How Your Horse Wants You to Ride by Gincy Self Bucklin. I'm finding it surprisingly useful to revisit basic horse concepts I haven't really thought about in ten years. Lately with Steen I've been particularly thinking about calm. Which means breathing, stretching and relaxing, keeping my eyes soft, all my muscles relaxed, and never tensing up or clinging.

So far I think these ideas have had a positive effect. Steen does seem more relaxed our last few rides, showing less persistence in his turn-around attempts. Today we had a pretty excellent ride. We went up and down the strip a couple of times, did a fair amount of walk-trot work in the make-shift arena, and had three good little runs. The grain is definitely giving Steen a new level of energy. When I let him go at one point today, I felt him taking off and digging in with his hindquarters like he rarely has before. He sprang past the lope all the way into a gallop. But he came back to me when I asked and he wasn't even all that worked up afterwards.

Brian and Cal also had a much better ride this week than last. She's also got some more calories in her daily diet, and is feeling increasingly secure with Brian. She wasn't exactly goey, but Brian had her doing what he asked.

And to be outside in a t-shirt on a sunny, warm day in November felt really wonderful. We rode for 45 minutes. Chase the Barn Dog, for one, was totally exhausted by the time we were done.

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome that you've had good weather and good rides. The weather has been pretty nice here (since the snowstorm anyways), but I haven't been doing so well on the riding front. Hope things continue to go well for you all.


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