As I said in the previous post, I felt a little bad with how I rode Bear. I had to get out to the barn to get him the last of his meds and the first of his new supplement, so I figured I would make it up to him and have a nice, easy ride.
It helped that we weren’t confined to the arena. We’ve spent more time there in the last six months than we usually do, and I think its wearing on me. Usually I don’t mind it, and I’m thrilled we have access to it, but I really like being outside. Today the sun was up and the wind was blowing cool, dry air in.
Bear and I did a few easy circles on the strip and then headed out. He was pretty game walking down the drainage and over to the second strip. As we continued I could feel he was a little anxious. We never really go out alone. This was actually only our second time doing it. With the wind blowing hard, he was really looking around a lot. But his body felt good and relaxed. And I think that is the most important thing.
The end of that strip has some new grass laid down, and it was a little muddy. I had planned on going all the way up to the corner of our vet’s land, but trampling the tiny blades of grass didn’t seem nice. Instead I followed the edge of the field for a short ways and used a new drainage.
Well, not new. It’s old, but I only recall walking up it once a few years ago. It snakes up into the hillside. Bear was excited at first because the trajectory was initially towards home. But then he had a different excited feeling when he realized we were going farther.
I just kept moving him from one side to the other with my legs and checking in to see how he would respond to the bit. Everything was totally fine, and I think he ended up having fun.
I snapped a few pics. They’re a whole lot more boring when it is just you and the fields. The best I could do was get Bear’s ears in there.
|Making our way up the new drainage.|
|And back down the drainage.|
On the way home he was something of a power walker. As Bear is normally a bit of a plodder, I just enjoyed it. He was very barn focused, though. So when we hit the turn for home I made him walk past it and give me a few nice tear drop bends before heading up. He didn’t get mad at those, instead they really helped him relax and focus. I know bending helps horses, but it is always nice to feel it.
Back on the strip we walked around some more and then trotted a few circles. These were excellent going to the left. I was really surprised. Then going right we had a spot where he was dropping in and surging forward. It was on a slight downhill, but really, it was so so slight. He should be able to handle it. So each time we went around I played around with body position and (very) light rein contact to see if I could encourage him to stay even as we moved through it. In the end we got a couple of really nice circles, and I was happy how easy it was to work through it.
As always, it was a lot of fun to spend time with just my horse.