It feels like we’re finally back in a good groove with the horses. Work is coming out of the first quarter crazies as well. That plus some nice weather have made it a lot easier to get out on horseback with more consistency.
Last week we got out twice mid week and rode Piper and Nevada both days. This is awesome as we just need to pile the hours on both of them at this point. I gave my lesson Friday and had a brief ride on Steen. Then over the weekend we rode all four horses both days, as usual.
Things with Piper continue to go well. On Saturday I got her into the canter for the first time. It took a while of working on encouraging her to leave the trot, but once she got into it she was smooth and level and traveled nicely to the other side of the arena. Our biggest issue is still impulsion, but we’re getting better.
On Saturday I felt like I pushed her pretty hard both physically and mentally, so my goal for today was to have a super positive, confidence-building ride. Fortunately, we did. Starting off, we had our best groundwork session ever. She’s staring to travel better on the ground and respond to light adjustments without just stopping.
Things stayed great after I got on. We ended up walking circles along the rail for quite a while, following a few lengths behind Nevada. We worked on speeding up the walk and intervals, and sometimes moved in and out of the trot. She was taking the cue from Nevada to stay on the rail, so I could really leave her alone as far as steering was concerned and work on shaping her up a little better in bends and getting some good consistency with our cadence. The last few days she’s had some pretty strong opinions on where she wants to go, and that’s made it hard to get in a positive rhythm. So it was nice to find a way to just lay off her a little and get some easy time in. By the end of the day she was seeming more open and relaxed than ever.
Steen is also doing well. We had two good rides in the outdoor arena. Our work ethic definitely suffers during the winter, so I’m trying to adjust him back into the idea that we’re going to work a little longer and harder now. He’s getting back in better shape, too. That helps.
In other news, I had a completely random encounter on Instagram. Someone commented on a photo of Steen in a way that implied she knew him before he was mine. This is a person I’ve been friends with on Facebook for a long time. I knew she knew Steen’s previous owner, but didn’t realize she also knows Steen’s mother and full sister. She was kind enough to even send me a photo of Steen’s mom, who is alive and well in Cedar Rapids:
So, now I have photos of both of Steen’s parents. Yay, internet win.
Horseback Hours YTD: 33:55