Saturday, April 09, 2011

Busy Barn Saturday

Brian and I headed to the barn early today, hoping to avoid any Saturday traffic. The place was empty when we arrived but that changed before we even got our horses inside. Another boarder arrived to ride her horse Daisy, the only other Paint in the pasture.

We had some rain the last couple of days, so the outdoor arena is mucky and everyone was sort of confined to the inside. Brian and I took our time grooming as both our boys were pretty dirty. Steen was in a sort of obnoxious mood initially, trying to mess with everything he could reach. Eventually he did settle down.

By the time Brian and I were ready to hop on, another board had arrived with her boyfriend and boyfriend's parents, and the first boarder was riding in the indoor. Our indoor arena is only about 60' by 90', with the typical slightly unusable corners where the sand collects. I had never ridden in there with more than two horses, but we certainly weren't going to leave without riding. We climbed on, him on Bear in the bear trap, me on Steen bareback.

The first boarder decided she was done right when Brian and I joined her, so we had the arena to ourselves for a few minutes. We warmed the boys up. They both seemed great. Then the second boarder joined us. Her horse is Nadir, an older Arabian with a sweet disposition, but who she doesn't actually ride much. The three of us rode around together. Steen was remarkably not affected by anything Nadir did. It helps that Nadir, Bear and Steen all live in the same pasture, but I was still actually impressed at how little anyone seemed inclined to slip into a herd mentality. The parents and boyfriend rotated on and off Nadir, and Brian and I just did our thing. I trotted Steen a lot, but didn't want to lope today anyway. Last time the farrier was out, Steen's back feet weren't long enough to trim but now they're so long he's constantly kicking himself. Since he'll get a trim tomorrow, I didn't feel the need to push it today.

So Steen was content to shuffle around in his smooth little jog. I swear he behaves better the more people are watching. His stops weren't wonderful, but they weren't bad either, and everything else was spot on.

Best of all, though, were Brian and Bear. They were not at all frazzled by the extra traffic and Brian got some exceptionally smooth and relaxed trots out of Bear.

We only rode for about half an hour. Gay arrived while we were riding and also wanted to ride, and while three horses is doable in that tiny area, four is a bit much I think. Still, it was a very pleasant outing and I was thrilled with how well-behaved our boys were.

Horseback Hours YTD: 11:50

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