Saturday, March 27, 2010

Brian Rides Steen

And blogs about it, too.

While Robin works on catching and training Sham a bit, we figured it would be great practice for both Steen and I if I got him out of the pasture, groomed him up, and rode him. So today Robin and I each grabbed a halter and walked off to different pastures. She stared at Sham, and I fumbled around putting Steen's halter on. He stood patiently and accepted it. I cannot say the same thing for Sham.

Thankfully Steen remained mostly willing and patient. He let me walk him through the ever-changing indoor arena and barely sniffed at the new piles of stuff. He stood nicely while I got rid of some of his coat. And, as always, he was a dream with his feet.

After I put Robin's pad on him but my saddle, I brought him out to the strip for some ground work and then riding. We (or, more precisely, I) worked on yielding the forequarters and the hindquarters, circle driving, flexing, backing, and coming. We both did pretty well. Then Steen again stood calmly while I fumbled to get his bridle on. It has a bunch of straps I'm not used to and the wind kept blowing Steen's abundant mane into them. He was in no hurry to go anywhere, though, and eventually I got it all sorted out.

I climbed on his back, and we walked off down the strip. It was actually the first time I had ridden Steen outside since last June or July. I forget exactly when it was. It was before we even had a real spot to ride at the new place. Today was not great, but it was way better than that day.

He was good for the first few minutes, then he started his usual semi-anxious antics. These involved turning around at the slightest increase in wind speed and lots of tripping and then quickly picking up a jerky trot. I did my best to sit deep and keep him calm, and for the most part it actually worked. I wasn't able to walk and trot in nice big circles like I hoped I would be able to, but he did get better at going where I told him to, and even relaxing about it a little bit.

So all in all it was a great ride. I was happy to be up on a horse again, and I look forward to getting Steen back into some kind of shape while Robin continues to mold Sham.

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