I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday! 🙂 My day was absolutely crazy but it was a nice day. Now time to get ready for my family out of town to come in early December. The beginning of December is going to be nuts as well!
I rode on Wednesday, since the weather was super nice and I had some extra time at the barn. My two nephews came along, one of which has been begging to take lessons for awhile, his mother just scheduled his first lesson and he’d been wanting to ride Red, and his brother wanted to watch. A is almost 9, and N is 6 or 7. Hard to keep up, haha. I showed A how to tack up, tighten the girth and put the bridle on. He’s gone up to the barn a couple times now and knows the names of most of the tack. He says he wants to ride western, so my mother and I can help him out a bit more. I brought up the helmet we bought (originally bought it online for myself but the sizing was off, it ended up being the perfect fit for him so oh well, haha.) and I worked Red around the round pen to warm up for a few minutes. We walked for awhile then I let him trot around on a loose rein and worked a bit on some speed control. One of his worst habits as of now is not wanting to slow down when I have a loose rein, he either doesn’t quite get the signal as well or just doesn’t want to quit, but he’s definitely improving on that. I’m able to ride him on the buckle for the majority of every ride now, but when we do any kind of trot work to work on collection or anything more serious I keep a bit of a tighter rein so I can keep contact.
I got off and let A hop on first, he had a bit of trouble with the reins and not quite understanding how to steer Red and give him light cues and keeping looser reins instead of a death grip. We let him grab a bit of mane and that loosened his grip on the reins, reminded him not to grab the back of the saddle or horn unless it was completely necessary and so on. He did very well and actually had pretty good EQ naturally. He went a few laps and then we let his brother on, who was happy to ride but definitely hasn’t gotten bit by the horse bug. He said, “the experience was lackluster.” From the mouth of babes, lol.
All in all, Red did great with being a lesson horse again and never once tried to take control. Very proud of the pony. A and N decided they wanted to practice roping (they’re obsessed with roping, ever since I started they decided they wanted to do it.) so I hopped back on Red after we got the ropes and they practiced some. A hadn’t practiced in a few months so he was a little rusty but once again, he really has a good swing naturally. N needed a bit of help with recoiling his rope and A needed reminders to keep his rope over his head and not lower. I jogged Red around the round pen while they roped, I hadn’t done trot work in awhile and I thought it would be good for him to see the swinging and craziness in the middle of the arena and continue on doing his job.
I made the terrible choice of wearing muck boots which are insanely thick and hard to move in the stirrups, so that along with using our smallest saddle with jacked up stirrups for the boys…I looked totally fabulous, but oh well.
Red seems to be understanding the idea of rounding his body a bit more. We’re nowhere near where I’d like us to be, but every ride that we work on this stuff I feel like we’re getting closer and closer. He’s started releasing his head and bouncing into really nice contact and trotting beautifully for a few steps and then he bounces back, but really, the few good moments are nice and it shows that he’s trying to get it. And his neck is looking lovely.
I think we’re starting to get there.
Once we made a few laps around I grabbed my rope and jogging him while swinging it, when he did good with that, I took a few swings which weren’t all that great on my part but he did good. After that we cooled down and I dismounted, untacked him (the weather was so cool and nice that he had barely broken a sweat at all.) and turned him out, he promptly galloped to the rest of the herd like “WHERE IS MY HAY I NEEEEEDDDDDDD ITT” and I messed around with the rope some more and helped the boys a bit.
I plan on riding this evening as well, mom wants to ride so we’ll probably tack up Red and Stormie and ride through our neighborhood some and to the church. It’s been awhile since we’ve done that and I’d like to do some hill work with Redman on the hills that we have through there.