Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Out in the Snow

We were out of town last weekend, so no riding was done. It felt like we hadn't been to the barn in forever. But really it was just eight days.

Still, it was great to get out to see the horses, and even better that we finally had some mild weather. Brian and I took advantage by heading out into the snowy fields.

We had two nice rides out and about. The first, yesterday, was good, except at times Steen got pretty exuberant. He was great walking, but as soon as we started trotting he just wanted to go. He'd do these sneaky shifts into the canter. When I tried to check him, he'd just coil into this collected frame and keep cantering. I wouldn't have minded except for the footing.

Um, Steen, we've fallen over enough recently. Let's keep this sedate, please.

Even with his high spirits, though, Steen felt very much with me. On our ride today he was more sedate, and I played with picking a line in the snow and adjusting his trajectory with my legs. I'd set my hand on the horn, bump him on the shoulder with one leg, and he'd tip his nose the way I was asking him to go. I'm not sure I've ever had that level of subtle control out in a wide open environment before.

These last two rides, I started breaking in some new gear. My old wool pad was getting pretty beat up, so I upgraded to a five star.

But the bigger news today was Brian decided to try my two-rein setup on Bear. While Bear didn't seem to love the spade at first, he also didn't mind packing it around the fields for a while. At times, he was very soft and attentive. At others he was a little distracted. But overall I think it was a good experiment. As Brian said, you gotta start somewhere.

We've also gotten several more updates from Zoey's new owners. They are still totally in love with her and thrilled to have her. We couldn't be happier with how that turned out.

Horseback Hours YTD: 21:25

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