I finally rode. I haven’t ridden since…oh, early December-mid December because of terrible weather, dangerous ground and stolen saddles. And nothing would keep me from getting on my horse in 60 degree, sunny weather. So I rigged up an old saddle that we had laying around and made do with my situation. It wasn’t my fancy roper, but hey, it worked. Since Red hadn’t done anything but occasionally lunging for 10-20 minutes, I decided to take it easy on the both of us and have a good ride back into work. Start on a good note and end on a good note. We tacked up, he let me mount without any fuss (which is a pretty big deal considering he wants to move off before I mount normally. I was expecting him to be awful while I tried to mount.) and we were off. I started off walking the fenceline for about 10 minutes. He was being slightly barn sour in the beginning and I wanted to take things slowly at first. While we did that, I worked on using a loose rein without him feeling like he can run to the barn. He would try to turn towards the barn and I used leg pressure to scoot him back over where I wanted him. No rushing to the barn or trying to trot over to his pasture. As boring and simple as it sounds I feel like we did work that we’ve been needing to do for awhile.
I kept my reins as low as I could and tested him a few times, walked him towards the barn where he normally tries to speed up at a trot, then used leg pressure and a bit of rein to move him back to where I want. We did that a few times until he seemed to realize “Oh hey, she’s not gonna let me run to the barn today.” He wasn’t as barn sour as he has been in the last few rides and after about 15 minutes his head was much lighter in the bridle and he wasn’t pushing into me and trying to run past the bridle.
Then, I let him do some jogging. He collected really well today and just did fantastic. I was nervous about his trot considering he’d been off work for so long and was hoping he would remember everything that we’d been working on since September. And he did. And he impressed me. Not one time did he get into a rough trot, he was collected with very little rein and very little leg pressure. I barely even had to bump him at all.
I also worked on posting the trot and keeping my heels down. I really liked the stirrups on this saddle, they were thinner than the ones on my roper and lighter and it was easier to keep my heels balanced and made it much easier to post the trot. I may end up trying some different stirrups on my roping saddle once I get it back after court to see if it helps me. My legs are sore from the work though, lol.
And this picture, because he looks amazing and we’re attempting to master turning while at a jog. Dressage friend said she wants to see if he’d do a piaffe, rofl.
It was a really great ride and he behaved wonderfully. I feel like we got a pretty good amount of practice in as well. And after I worked Red, we tacked Jubilee up for the first time! But more on that tomorrow for the sake of the length of this post, lol.
And in other news…I scheduled my first roping lesson for Tuesday! Nervous and excited, hopefully it goes well!