Sunday, August 28, 2011

Two Lovely Long Rides

We had a good barn weekend. On Saturday Brian and I went again to the second strip, and spent a lot of time trotting back and forth along the length. Steen was very good. He still wasn't a fan of standing when I offered him the chance to rest, but he would stop, usually flex without protest and only start to fidget if I didn't ask him to walk again fairly quickly. In the interest of keeping his stress-level low, I didn't force the issue and he grew more and more settled over the course of the ride, his trots nice and slow, his downward transitions prompt and his responsiveness to my seat and legs staying high the whole ride. By the very end he was willing to stand quietly, so I count that a victory.
Ride Time: 1:00

Sunday we rode again with Gay and Doc. We tried to stay in more open terrain this time since neither Bear nor Steen seemed to enjoy being in some of the narrower corridors between the corn, and honestly Brian and I weren't huge fans of feeling so boxed in either. We did a circuit around the soybean field, changing up the order of the horses frequently. Steen was quiet but walking faster than the other two, so whenever there was space I tended to let him get ahead.

Bear was tired and his back was a bit tight where he can get sore, so Brian gave him a rest while Gay and I did some extra hills, then trotted four laps along the second strip.

Steen was absolutely relaxed for these, his trot slow and his head low, ears floppy. I actually think he was feeling pretty tired as well. This week I've had gotten more long rides on him than ever before.
Ride Time: 1:00

Back at the barn we found Whisper turned out with the pasture herd as his mother has been moved to her new home. It is always interesting to see the herd shift to accommodate a new member, and even more interesting when the new-comer is a baby. Cowboy (who runs the show out there) gave Whisper the hardest time, but also wouldn't let the other geldings near.

Steen always seems to form a bond with babies, and Whisper so far does not appear to be an exception. Cowboy didn't seem to mind Steen's presence, and we left the three of them hanging out close together. I'll be curious to see what happens over the next weeks. Whisper, for his part, seems to be trying to use Cowboy as camouflage:

Horseback hours YTD: 61:25

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