Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dressage Day!

Today I met my friend Jean out at the barn. We hadn't ridden together since Schooley had to be put down, but since Bear is pretty settled in now, it seemed high time to get her out for a ride on our two boys. Since Steen currently has no saddle that will fit him, she came with three dressage saddles and some time to play. One saddle fit Steen very well, and another fit Bear passably well.

Steen wondering what the deal is with this strange saddle

Jean started out on Bear, and while I expected the two of them to get along really well, Bear seemed a tad suspicious of her and her fancy black saddle. He was definitely not bad for her, but he was not as relaxed and responsive as he's been for Brian lately. His trot was very stiff and fast at first, but Jean persevered and got him collected before long. Jean is very much trained in classical dressage, so she was asking things of Bear he has not had much practice doing. He was game, however, and put in a solid effort at all three gaits.

In the meantime I rode Steen around in a borrowed but very, very nice dressage saddle. It was shockingly comfortable, and after a few minutes of feeling just a tad wigged out, Steen really settled in and went great.

We rode in the indoor arena, and Steen and I did plenty of walking, trotting and loping. I felt secure and he felt comfortable, so all was well. Then I hopped off and Jean got on Steen, and she proceeded to explore how open he is to some of the principles of dressage. By the time she got off she was very impressed with him, and though he had never been asked to do most of the things she asked him, he was willing to try and even seemed to enjoy himself.

Jean teaching Steen about collection and engaging his quarters

I drove home, and Brian got off work. Then, although I really should have stayed home and gotten some work done, I went to the barn again with Brian.

The boys were happy to come inside again and get groomed and tacked. Although Jean generously loaned me her saddle for the time being, I went bareback for my second ride of the day because Steen actually had a much harder workout than he is used to this morning, and I didn't want to take it too far. But Brian put the bear trap on Bear, and he seemed pretty darn happy to have his normal tack and rider back. They walked and trotted and loped, and looked great at all three gaits.

Horseback hours YTD: 27:00

1 comment:

  1. A good fitting saddle is a good fitting saddle. Unless you're trying to do very specific things (like roping or jumping) any saddle that fits will usually work just fine.

    Seems like you've been getting a lot of riding in lately. I'm kinda jealous. :)

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