Wednesday, September 01, 2010

One Day, Two Rides

Today I had a problem. Jean wanted to ride with me in the morning, and Brian wanted to ride with me in the afternoon. The only possible solution (much to Steen's chagrin) was for me to ride twice.

First I met Jean at the barn in the morning. We tacked up Steen and Schooley and headed out. Things started out very low-key, but when we turned around to head back up the grassy strip between corn-fields we often use as a warm-up, we decided to trot for a bit. Steen wanted to go faster than a trot. When I didn't let him, he started to crow-hop.

Now, this is the first time Steen has ever done anything like this under saddle. Other than the one time he threw me (right after I got him) his hind end has never even tried to come up on me. I stopped him and quickly looked him over to make sure he wasn't getting bitten by a horse-fly or something bizarre wasn't happening with his girth. Then I did a little remedial circle work, making him wrap around my leg and flex while moving in circles at a trot. This seemed to turn his brain back on.

The ride went more smoothly from there. Steen still showed high spirits and an inclination to prance. When I asked for a trot again later he did a lot of spinning and scooting sideways before I finally could get his propulsion moving in the right direction. Then he settled into the gait and went nicely.

So, mostly I think it was just that he's feeling good. He's in great shape, the weather was cool and he wants to go. Given his still quite limited work outdoors at the trot and lope, I have to give him a pass now and then.

After the ride I came home and worked for a few hours and then Brian and I headed out again. Steen was a bit surprised to see me, and even more surprised when I put his saddle on again.

Bear continues to be absolutely easy. He is getting sweeter and more relaxed out on the trail. Brian has had a moment or two during which he has a little bit of trouble getting Bear to go ahead alone or turn away from home, but nothing major or unusual at all.


My first ever shot from off of Steen's back!

During ride two, Steen was a little better though at first inclined to prance. I worked him in circles again.


Brian captures me pulling Steen in a circle.

We rode for about 45 minutes and Steen was quite ready to go home by the end. I probably won't make him go out twice in one day very often, but for today I think it was good for him.


Bear is just a little uncertain what I'm doing with the camera

Indoors untacking was easy, and Bear got some compliments from a boarder he'd never met before. He's already put on some muscle and I think he's going to be looking quite sharp in no time.

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