Surprise Riding Time

Novels for Horse-Lovers

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We were planning on a trip to Arizona this week, but the flights were not in our favor.  So we ended up staying with my parents for a few days and then heading back to Iowa City.  I could have gone back to work, but I already changed my calendar.  And besides, I’ve got tons of vacation time. Still, you would think with all the time off I would be able to keep up with my recent rides.  Guess not.

Last Thursday we had a really pretty afternoon, so we decided to get out after I got home from work.  Unfortunately, it was one of those nice days for sitting around, not so nice for riding.  The guys were hot and sluggish from standing around all day.  I had kind of forgotten why we weren’t riding much in the afternoon’s lately.  This is why.  Still, Bear and I had a good time.

Then Saturday we got out early before driving to Chicago.  It was sticky and hot, and the guys got covered in sweat.  It wasn’t our best trail ride.  I was exhausted from a hard workout the day before, and we headed out in the opposite direction we normally go.  The guys got a little excited about this, and then it took quite a while for them to settle back down.  By the time they did I was pretty much ready to be done riding.  Poor Robin, this might have been the first time ever she was up for doing more than me.

Now we are back in town.  We took a cloudy day off to lay around the house, read, drink tea and just veg out.  It felt great, and I wasn’t in the mood for riding anyways.  Then today we finally got back to the barn.

I rode Laredo.  It had been a while for us, and our last few rides have been highly mediocre so I felt ready for a good ride.  Robin has been having some good rides on him, and today I could feel that.  I think I was also in a good frame of mind to work with him.  He was also prepared to work with me.

We started with our usual slow stuff.  He was moving off my legs very nicely.  We’ve also been spending more time moving his front end over and building up to some whirly-gigs.  Those are still hit or miss, but he is collecting really nicely and he seems to enjoy the challenge of them.

When we started trotting they felt like our best trots ever.  He was relaxed and staying back on his haunches.  There was no sign that his feet were bothering him, and for the most part, he was really listening to my legs and rein cues.

Of course, at other times, he would brace up and ride right through my cues.  I’m still trying to keep him relaxed at the trot, so I give him a few seconds to see if he’ll figure it out.

We trotted a lot today.  Because of how our rides worked last week and us being out of town, Laredo had a week off, and I think he might have gotten a little out of shape.  Perhaps because of this, our downward transitions were wonderful.  At one point I asked him to go from the trot to the walk, he tripped a little, stopped hard, and immediately shifted to backing up.  I couldn’t help but laugh at him.  I also asked for another step back just so he didn’t get the idea he could make the decisions.

This was pretty close to how the ride ended.  It was definitely one of our best yet.  It is funny to see his two steps forward, one step back kind of progress.  Thankfully there have been a lot more forward steps so far.

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