Whew, the drought is over.... I've been on my horse three times in the last week:)
Last Saturday I took C over to the sand/dredge spoil area where we usually use the jogging path for conditioning. Since he's now shoe-free, we couldn't actually attempt the gravel path, but we did a lot of walking in the sand.
It was a very nice, easy going first ride in a month.
Thursday I hauled over to the arena to ride. I actually put C on the lunge for just a second prior to getting on (yes, I'm a chicken). He literally jogged two circles in each direction and was SO mellow I bridled and jumped on.
It was a very productive ride, lots of bending, circles, and "arena stuff". I've been focusing on increasing the work at the canter and it seems to be paying off. He took both leads easily and was really responsive.
Unfortunately I've discovered a down side to keeping C as naturally as possible (he is turned out 24/7 on eight acres of pasture with Certified Girl and his brother Taj.)
He is a Fuzzy Bunny!!!
Last year C was in the barn each night and I made sure to leave the lights on until 8pm or so, this year he's on nature's clock and I've never seen him so hairy. So I have to temper our work out to make sure I can get him dry again before blanketing and turn out. It was so nasty and blowing rain by the time I got home I decided to keep him up over night and let him stay in the barn.
Today I hauled C back over to the arena. Shawn was in Castle Rock working some roping horses so I took Cartman over there for his "continuing education". While Shawn rode Cartman in the arena I got to walk out the last roping horse. It was amazing to get on the QH, from the ground- with no bouncing or upper body strength required:) I couldn't get over how wide he felt!
Later we headed over to the sand trail that borders the property where the arena is. I asked if this horse would be fine out on the trail and they guys all assured me "Oh yeah, he's totally fine."
We walked about an 1/8th mile down the trail when Shawn took off on Cartman at a jog. I just dawdled along on the QH until he returned and then rode past us back towards the barn.
As soon as C went by and I turned the QH around I realized that I might be in for some "fun". Mr QH got very, very antsy. Suddenly he hopped up in front and gave out a little tiny kick out. Ooooh, I wasn't really prepared for this action. I deliberated, I don't know this horse at all..... he's a QH- some of those can buck like broncos!!! They're small and quick..... I am not really 'fit' after having over a month of not riding..... Should I turn? Should I turn and circle? How will I ever get all the way back that 1/8th mile to the barn? Am I going to get bucked off someone else's well broke roping horse???? There was no way I could dismount, there was too much explosive tension for that.
I eased up on the reins and gave him a tiny boot with my foot, he walked back down the path. My stomach was in knots, I was consciously making myself relax and lengthen my leg. He was a coiled spring. I was doing my best to breathe, and not to feed into the horse's anxiety.
FINALLY, I made it back to the common trail and I found Shawn and Cartman. I told him about the little tiny hop. He asked if I wanted my horse back and I said "YES!!!!!!" I jumped off the QH and climbed up on my big boy and gave him the biggest hug I could. Heee heee, I've gotten spoiled with my mellow TB:)
Shawn rode the other horse a bit, making him go away from C and back and forth. As usual he had everything straightened right out and there was no hopping or bucking!
I realized how riding one horse all the time can be bad for your riding skill level.