Monday, July 04, 2011

New Peeps

Today we had the day off! (Which is to say Brian had the day off and I chose not to work.) We also have some friends who have long been wanting to meet our horses, so we headed for the barn in the late morning to introduce everyone. Steen and Bear, and actually all the other horses in the pasture, were more than willing to say hello to Steve and Cody, who are both equine newbies. Fortunately Steen and Bear both have excellent ground manners at this point. Steen was very docile and responsive as he followed Steve back to the tie area. Both the boys were happy to accept grooming and pets from unfamiliar hands.

But in the end we couldn't entice either of our friends to attempt groundwork or climb on for a pony ride. They made their exit as Brian and I mounted up on the strip.


I did not use Cathi's pad again today because I figured I'd let Brian try it, but nevertheless Steen stood perfectly still while I mounted. Still, it was hot by the time we got going and I gave Brian's stirrups back and tried to use the ones from my old abetta but they were too narrow at the top so were hanging oddly and I was feeling that kind of lazy that I didn't want to lead Steen all the way back to the barn and put my other ones on. Steen and I had a brief, nice walk/trot ride in which I concentrated on keeping him relaxed and he did pretty well jogging around the strip, stopping, flexing, backing and disengaging his hind-quarters when asked.

When I got off, Brian inquired if I would like a little ride on Bear. Somewhat amazingly, I had never yet loped Bear. I handed Steen's reins to Brian and climbed into the bear trap. Insert usual comment about how amazingly different Bear is than Steen. Also the bear trap already felt funny to me, which is a good sign I suppose, as far as how I'm adjusting to my new saddle.

So, I suggested to Bear that we walk and he was not impressed with my suggestion. We've become increasingly convinced that Bear is a man's horse, and also the fact that I tend to intervene with him only when things are going badly hasn't particularly endeared me to him. But I asked a little harder and he complied and before long I pushed him into a lope.


Bear has a nice, agile lope, and he proved this to me by loping in very, very small circles. I worked on sitting in a balanced manner and encouraging him to broaden his radius. He did eventually agree to do this and we went nicely for a little while, but it was hot and I didn't want to push him so I kept it short. Still, it was fun and reminded me that I should really make an effort to ride Bear more often.

Horseback hours YTD: 42:10

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