Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Lighter Side


This weekend I’ve been concentrating on the lighter side of riding. Meaning that I’ve decided to not take my riding so seriously.  Blue and I went out yesterday for a slow mosey around the fields and back home through the hay/corn field next door.  No trotting, just wandering around enjoying the day. 

I believe horses need a break from constant training and arena work.  Blue and I really enjoyed our quiet time together.  Well at least I did.  It was the first time Grady had been ridden in the back fields and, although he was slightly nervous, having a “Steady Eddie” like Blue along relaxed him.  When Grady refused to go over a culvert pipe bridge, Blue went first and he followed with no problem; it’s always nice to have a guinea pig in front and let them be eaten first.  My lazy boy surprised me by picking up a trot a few times heading back to the barn.  I guess he has more enthusiasm when he’s off the property and not in a ring.

Next day thunderstorms rolled in so we were forced to ride in the arena and our laid back attitude continues.  We started by walking around on a loose rein to warm up and then doing some walking patterns over cavelletti to set the tone for the rest of the ride.  Blue was behaving beautifully and seemed to be enjoying himself.  We did some bends with very little leg pressure and his steering was exceptional for a change.

Once my daughter was finished longeing Nate at one end of the arena she turned him out and came back to stand in the center.  Blue and I picked up a lovely trot down the long side and then we proceeded to circle at the end of the arena.  Now, Blue thinks he’s smarter than anyone and he might just be, but he started to spiral in a little here a little there around my daughter.  I should point out that he knows she always has treats in her pockets and he gets one when he does something he’s been asked to do and when he does it well.  I couldn’t let him do his impersonation of circling the drain because this is not a habit I’m willing to let him get away with, so we worked on spiraling back out to the rail and he stopped on a dime when cued.  Then he got his treat.

So, that’s the weekend so far.  I’m hoping for a nicer day tomorrow so we can go back out into the field again.  My way of thinking is one day for training, one day for field fun to keep his mind in the game… and it doesn’t hurt my addled brain to just relax and have fun either.

Until next time
Quote for Today
When riding my horse I no longer have my heart in my chest, but between my knees.

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