I have apparently not quite settled back into consistent blogging mode, so another catch-up post it is.
The end of September was busy. I had some sort of strange illness that mostly amounted to me feeling kind of bad but not horrible unless I tried to do something physically taxing, at which point I would spike a fever and need to lie down. I kicked this just in time for a visit from Brian’s parents. We took them to the barn on Friday, and had a great ride with them and our three geldings in the tree lot.
One thing I have perhaps not mentioned is we got a third McCall a few weeks ago. It’s a used Wade Trail, similar to mine. We found it on ebay for a shockingly good price and just couldn’t pass it up. We picked it up for two reasons. One, we want three good saddles that fit all our horses, and two, Brian has been thinking he might be more comfortable in a saddle with a smaller and narrower seat than the one he’s riding now. The new saddle is both things, and though for various reasons it won’t be the right saddle for him long term, it’s a good one for him to ride in terms for narrowing in on the exact set-up he wants.
Fortunately I recently sold my Cashel, and Brian’s old saddle is for sale as well, so hopefully we can keep ahead of the accumulation. I figure as long as we don’t have more saddles than horses, we’re doing alright. :}
So, we got Laredo, Steen and Bear all tacked up and went out into the tree pasture. It was nice not to have to relegate one of our guys to an ill-fitting rig. Cathy rode Bear, I rode Steen, and Brian rode Laredo. We had a fun and relaxing ride. Bear and Cathy got along really well, as usual.
After a while, we changed things up a bit. Cathy traded Bear for Steen, and Dutch climbed onto Bear. That went well also. I gave Cathy a few minutes of instruction on using only her seat to get Steen to transition upwards from walk to trot, then back down from trot to walk, then stop. I draped the reins over the saddle horn and held the end of the mecate for this, and she rode around me in a circle. It was neat to see her explore and figure out how to influence Steen without using her hands. Then I gave her the reins back and she rode around a bit on their own. Dutch also did quite well on Bear, so all in all it was a great visit.
On Tuesday I had a lesson with my student, who has missed a few weeks due to being out of town. Having a student has been a very interesting experience for me. It’s one thing to know something, quite another to teach it to someone else, and still another to find a place where your horse and your student can meet in the middle in a place that doesn’t frustrate either of them. On Tuesday, my student (we’ll call her J) had hurt her back and needed to do something easy. Brian was with me as well, and had been thinking about riding Zoey but discovered she was still limping. So we ended up in the tree lot with our three geldings again, and had another really nice ride. J rode Bear for the first time. As she gets a little more familiar with the way I’ve pulled the rug out from under her in terms of everything she thought she knew about riding, I think it will be useful for her to get to feel all our different horses.
While we were riding, J told me she’s been applying some of what she’s learned from me to how she rides the mare she leases, and that she can already see a change for the better. So that was pretty cool to hear.