Sunday, January 19, 2014

A New Foundation

Today, for the first time in quite a while, I rode Zoey.

Being around her is pretty different these days. I walked up to her in the pasture, and she dropped her head so I could slip the halter on. We went in and turned her and Bear out in the indoor. She's starting to get the idea that this is 'play time,' during which she can kick up a bit and blow off steam if she has any. She and Bear ran around a little, then I haltered her again. She stands quietly for grooming now. She doesn't mind dogs or strange people or doors opening and closing. She did get just a little tense when Brian swung the saddle on (my side is still sore, so he's continuing to play 'groom' for me) but I took her into the arena and did a little groundwork, and she calmed right back down. Then I swung on.


It was pretty interesting. I don't believe I've ever had quite this experience before. Early in the summer, I rode Zoey quite a bit. She was nervous then, and a bit inclined to overreact to things like being touched by a leg or asked for a movement she didn't understand.

Today, it was a different story. Today she felt solid. Even on our best days last summer, she was never so relaxed, never so willing, and never so confident. She knows her job now, and you can feel the change.


My ride was great. We tooled around for just over an hour. We worked through walking circles and figure-eights, whirligigs and backing. From there we did lots of trotting. Then we moved up to the lope. She was loping pretty nicely for me. I think there's no doubt Brian's weight is a factor for her. We had no trouble going multiple laps, and although her speed was a little inconsistent and she sometimes wanted to dive towards the middle, it was not difficult for me to correct her and keep her on the rail. So with a little more practice I think she'll have it totally down.

And perhaps the biggest change is the way she's happy to just stand still and catch some z's in between working on things. Brian can even ride right up and giver her face and neck rubs from Bear's back.


So, it was a really neat ride. I already knew Brian has been making tons of progress with Zoey. It's easy to see just by looking. But feeling it for myself was even better.

Ride Time: 1:05
Horseback Hours YTD: 9:50

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