Sunday, December 08, 2013

A Few Cold Rides

Cold came early this year, and I am still far enough away from hitting my goal of 200 hours in the saddle that I can't let weather derail me. Nevertheless, the weekends of spending hours at the barn and riding multiple horses is behind us for the season. I can deal with one bitterly cold ride, but after that I want to go home and get warm again.

This week I've been recovering from our accident. Although the worst is behind me, it's still painful enough to do things like move and pick stuff up that I didn't make it to the barn all week. But Friday was Brian's birthday, and around here we don't let a birthday pass without a birthday ride if one is at all possible. So we bundled up and headed to the barn as the sun sank on an already cold day. We had a pretty fun ride in the indoor arena on Steen and Bear. I kept warm by trotting a lot. The only benefit of the cold was we were the only ones around.

On Saturday Steen was in a strange mood. He was edgy during grooming. He wasn't doing anything in particular, but he was standing with his head all high and rigid like he used to way back in the day before he learned how to be a sane horse, and he kept staring at the big doors (which were closed). I did some work to keep his mind on me during tacking and grooming, then a bit of groundwork before I got on. He continued to be distractable at first, but after a minute or two of work on the line he seemed to come down a few notches. Then I mounted, and Steen took a couple steps before I was fully settled in the saddle. This was somewhat shocking. I can't even remember the last time he did that (it used to be a huge problem). We worked on backing circles and standing still before I asked him to go forward.

The rest of the ride was ok. He wasn't exactly being bad, but at first he was just sort of twitchy. I trotted him around and he was doing his rigid head-up-trying-to-see-everywhere-at-once thing, and his stride was short and choppy because of it. I decided just to trot figure eights until he softened up. And he did eventually. Then we trotted some more and loped a bit and he had a lot of energy. But finally he settled in and Brian and I worked on the routine, including loping the straightaways, and we actually had some very precise and synchronized passes. So I suppose Steen is still entitled to 'off' days. And if this is 'off,' I don't have much to complain about.


Today we went to the barn just ahead of a snowstorm to ride the 'green team.' Zoey was super jumpy starting out, and even Laredo was a bit restless and insecure during tacking and grooming. I rode him in my bosalita, and mostly just tried to keep the ride easy and positive. He had some good energy, and was very soft to the unfamiliar pencil-thin headgear. He was also finally seeming a bit less tight in the right side that's been seeming to bother him lately. We had some good trotting and loping in both directions.

Zoey was good too. She came in pretty riled up, but Brian was able to get her settled.


So, in spite of temps never making it out of the teens, I got three hours of riding in. Just 8.5 more to go!

Ride Time: 0:50
Ride Time: 1:05
Ride Time: 1:00
Horseback Hours YTD: 191:35

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