Monday, August 04, 2014

After a Week Away

We spent last week in Arizona visiting family. It was a nice time. We got to hang out with my parents and my sister and the new Great Dane puppy. There was much sleeping in, drinking of tea and coffee, and lounging around. We also got to spend my mother's birthday with her for the first time in many, many years. We caught up with more extended family as well.

We got home to Iowa City late Friday night (really, early Saturday morning), which meant we had the weekend to get back in the groove here. Even though we'd only been gone a week, it felt like we hadn't seen the horses in ages.

We're going to give Nevada some time off now. We've only got King for another two weeks, and we're hoping to sell Aiden relatively soon as well. Oliver has ended up on the backburner a bit for various reasons anyway, so this weekend we decided to just focus on four. Both days, I rode Aiden and Steen. Brian rode King and Laredo.

We had really nice weather, and it felt so good to be with the horses again. My first ride on Aiden was excellent. I was prepared for him to be maybe just a little bit rusty or distracted after the week off, but he wasn't at all. He was relaxed and happy. One of my favorite things about Aiden is his work ethic. He never gets emotionally fatigued or resentful. He just always seems to be up for anything. We spent a lot of time working on transitions, and did some straight cantering up the strip. He gained even more weight when we were out of town, and he's starting to feel quite substantial. We had great canter departures both directions, and he was moving off my legs really nicely the whole ride.


Next, I rode Steen. He seemed happy to see me. Even after my great ride on Aiden, getting on Steen just felt wonderful. It's hard to believe I've had him for six years now. I know him like I've never known another horse in my entire life. We tooled around the strip for a little under an hour. We didn't really work on anything in particular, just checked in with everything we normally do. He felt both relaxed and energetic. The last few weeks before we left, Steen felt like he was dragging just a tad. I'm hoping it was just the heat. At any rate, it was nice to have him back to his energetic and soft self.


The next day, we did the same thing. Again, Aiden was great. Again, Steen was wonderful. It was breezy on Sunday, and the wind would get in the corn sometimes and blow it around. Usually the corn is either blowing or still, but in this case it was inconsistent. King and Laredo were kind of troubled about that on and off, as was the horse of another boarder who was riding nearby. Aiden looked at the corn with some concern once or twice, but I worked on a half circle exercise next to it, and soon he was no longer even a little bothered. When it was Steen's turn, he couldn't have cared less about the corn. I also used Steen to ride out in the pasture when another boarder was going out to get her horse. In our absence, there have reportedly been some slightly odd herd dynamics involving a mare that was gone for the weekend and then returned, which resulted in this boarder having trouble getting her horse in a couple of times. So Steen and I ran interference while the boarder brought her horse up. Steen was great for this - blocking some horses, driving others. And during a quiet moment, Nevada even came up to us for some facepets.

So, while vacations are definitely nice, it's also really great to get home.


Horseback Hours YTD: 145:45

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