Friday, October 14, 2011

Alone and Indoors

Work has exploded the last couple of weeks. Which is a good thing because the summer was on the quiet side. But I'm spending a lot more time chained to the computer than has started to feel normal lately. Yesterday I sat down at my desk around 8am and around 1:30pm I was feeling the strain in the eye that has the convergence insufficiency, but still had many hours worth of work to do.

Last week we started Bear on a senior supplement that we're hoping will help with his intermittent stiffness and aid in his digestion. We want to give it to him every day for a week even if we end up missing the odd day here and there later on. So that was an extra spur in my side to get me out the door and to the barn.

On the way out I was undecided as to whether or not I would ride. We got some rain the last couple of days and things were on the soggy side. Still, it was a pretty day, sunny and just a tad cool. By the time I got to the barn I knew I wouldn't be able to resist.

After our hard ride on Tuesday, I wanted something easy. I tacked Steen up and rode him indoors. It was windy and once or twice he kind of stiffened up and looked around, but on the whole his behavior was excellent. I worked a lot on steering with only my legs, stopping (he's slowly but steadily improving on this), getting some collection and softness at both the walk and trot, and preparing him for better stops at the lope.  We also backed some fantastic half-circles, and every time I wanted to change directions in the arena I stopped him on the rail and made him yield his forequarters all the way around without moving his hind until we were facing the opposite direction. I think he likes these little challenges and he was so soft and willing the whole ride.

He is, of course, still figuring things out. The funniest moment was when I asked him to flex after we'd been doing quite a bit of other rather more complicated maneuvers. He yielded his forequarters. I stopped him and asked for another flex. He gave me his hindquarters. I stopped him again and asked for the flex. He walked off in a tight circle. I stopped him again and let him stand for a minute, asked for the flex again and he gave it to me and I petted him and he sighed with this look on his face that said, "Oh, that. That's easy."

Though short, the ride left me quite refreshed, and I was able to come home and work for many more hours.

Ride Time: 0:30
Horseback hours YTD: 81:40

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