Sunday, March 10, 2013

Steen Weekend

We may have gone over to a friend's house for dinner last night and accidentally consumed a little too much wine. As a result, we weren't up and out of the house at the crack of dawn today. And of course, daylight saving's time stole an hour of our night on top of everything else.

We limped out to the barn around 1:00. It basically had not stopped raining since we were last there. When we put Steen and Laredo back in the pasture after our last ride, we noticed Bear was shivering. We've never seen Bear shiver before, so we brought him in, dried him off and put a blanket on him.

So today he and Steen were both wearing soaked purple blankets. Luckily the Wugs seem to be entirely waterproof and both horses were bone dry underneath.

I opted to ride Steen today because wine has been giving me vertigo lately and I was still a little light-headed. Not so much that I figured I was going to have any trouble riding, but enough that I wasn't sure I was up for any Laredo antics.

It was fun to ride Steen again. I haven't ridden him in two days in a row in a long time. We worked on our "things" for the first part of the ride, then did a trot a lap/ lope a lap exercise with Brian and Bear. Both Bear and Steen were full of energy at the start of this, and just blasting into the lope each time we asked for it. My downwards transitions were leaving something to be desired at first, but we kept it up until we were both getting considerably mellower loping and more precise switches between the gaits.

Then we switched to walking figure-eights and trying to vary the pace within the walk to stay in the right place in relation to each other. That was challenging in a totally different way. Steen is getting pretty good about softening up into the hackamore and staying soft, and listening to the rhythm of my seat to figure out how fast to move his feet. He wasn't so good about walking out when necessary.

At the end, we put their wet blankets back on. It's odd to see Bear in a blanket, but he was limber and happy today in a way we haven't seen for months. He doesn't seem to suffer in the cold most of the time, but he does get stiff. If wearing a blanket has the potential to make rides more comfortable for him, it might be worth having him wear one all winter in the future. I guess we'll see where we're at with him next fall.


Ride Time: 0:55
Horseback hours YTD: 16:10

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