I’ve hacked around the farm twice in the last week, just bareback walks because the ground was still a bit too muddy for anything else. As usual, we got just enough snow to make things disgusting. 😛 I had never ridden in the snow before this because the winter before we moved him home, he was boarded and we couldn’t get out of our house because of the roads, and last winter, he was lame for a few weeks and it didn’t clear up until all the snow was gone, so this year, one of my goals was to hack around in it and enjoy it more.
He was a bit of a jerk the first day, since he hadn’t been ridden in over two weeks and it was dinner time and he was like, lol, no time for photos must eat mother. But, good enough to walk around and enjoy the pretty snow 🙂
The next time I hopped on, a lot of the snow was melting but there was still enough to play around in and he was in much better spirits.
Yesterday, I checked the ground to see if it would be too muddy for a real ride, and while it was pretty soggy in the grass still and not quite safe enough for trot work yet, our driveway was in good shape so I was able to jog him up and down it a few times. We have the same crushed rock on half of the driveway as we do in the round pen, so it’s plenty soft enough to do stuff on. I walked around the pasture a few times to stretch him out and let him walk around in the snow for a few times to make sure he wouldn’t be a jerk if I asked him to go faster towards the barn, and he was being really good and responsive. He was a bit stiff for the first minute or two but once he warmed up he was great. He’s getting so soft in the bridle now – super impressed, especially considering he’s had time off from work. He lowers his head and his movements are much more fluid and comfortable. He did great with backing, flexing, and we even did a bit of work on sidepassing. He’s struggling with the idea of it but we’re slowly getting there.
Despite still not feeling 100% I feel like I rode well – my legs seemed a bit stiff and funky at first but I worked through it. I need to work on leaning, because I keep wanting to lean to one side when riding. It’s pretty obvious in the photos of me riding and it’s even worse because I was looking at the rein I was lifting to encourage him to lower his head a bit more. Gotta stop looking down as well!
No helmet, because I’m a slacker and my helmet is so huge it swamps me. But..I am buying one this week (possibly getting it today) I found one that a friend is selling for a great price and she never used it. So, here’s hoping it fits ( I think it will because it fit my friend when she tried it on and we’re about the same size. ) if it does, y’all won’t see me without one. 🙂
While his head isn’t western pleasure worthy all the time, he’s most certainly improving. There’s a HUGE difference in his movements, he just feels extremely soft now. Trot is super, super comfortable, I’m no longer miserable at the sitting trot. And even his walk has improved a ton. Excited to start working more on the canter as soon as the ground is safe enough!
Also….a new pony is coming today. 😉