Sunday, August 12, 2012

Trail Jitters

We rode today with the new boarder Kat on her horse, Tate, who is the same age as Laredo but with considerably more saddle time under his belt. He has apparently been hauled around the country, taken to rodeos, trail ridden, and exposed to all sorts of stuff, despite his tender years. You can tell too. He's pretty mellow about things.

Which is good because my theoretically more mature mount decided to backslide somewhat on the trail. We rode out the normal way, and it was actually Steen's fourth day in a row being ridden. I thought he would be super quiet.

Instead he was a little jumpy. I actually think he was over-tired and perhaps a bit mentally fatigued. It was also much cooler than it has been on our jaunts lately, and warm weather has always had a calming effect on him.

Whatever the reason, he was just a little on edge most of the ride. He was inclined to spook in place a lot, and hesitate and stare at different parts of the trail. He did slightly larger spook movements once or twice, but never tried to go anywhere. I worked on bending him a lot, trying to get him to relax. He did mellow for periods of the ride, but as we neared home he started getting into his chargey walk. I delayed for a couple minutes to do some whirligigs and short-serpentines, and he'd do them while still clearly being focused on catching up to Bear and Tate.

It was one of those rides that was not ideal, but also given Steen's history of behavior on the trail, still a vast improvement from where we were even a year ago. Even though he was clearly nervous, he never actually spooked or pranced or got braced up on the bit. In fact, for much of the ride he was super soft to my hands. So, we'll just have to see how he does next time.

Ride Time: 1:35
Horseback hours YTD: 99:35

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