I’ve ridden a couple times since Saturday, I had planned on riding yesterday as well but a pony ruined my plans. More on that in a sec. I rode Stormie and Red on Saturday. Tacked Stormie up with the plan of doing lots of trot work and preparing her to get back into work, next ride, we’ll try the canter. I didn’t want to ask her to canter until I got a few good rides in to make sure she got crazies out. And she needs a lot of work on her trot. She’s very hollow and her trot is way too fast, very smooth and comfortable (you literally never move, she’s amazing.) but still, it needs some work. She also has her rooting problem, but I’ve discovered that the best way to get her to stop is more leg and just ignore her and keep her moving. We rode for about an hour, she is less eager to go than Red on most days, but once she gets going, she wants to either do a constant little jig around or trot around everywhere. At first, she wanted to transition into the canter, if she got too jiggy, I’d halt her, then ask her to trot again. Started out being a giraffe as usual but then started lowering her head a bit and using her hindquarters better and getting into a better rounded shape. Our best ride yet, not perfect or where I know she can be, but good. I do think once I get a hold of stirrup leathers for my english saddle and figure out what size girth she’d need, I’ll tack her up english. I know she does well with it, and I think she’d make a gorgeous english horse.
Stormie is extremely out of shape, so at the end of every ride she’s a sweaty mess. I can’t wait for Summer so I can see her lose a bit of the winter weight and hair. She looks straggly right now. Also, ignore my dusty saddle. Nephew dropped it getting his saddle the other day and it went into dust. Didn’t have time to clean or anything to clean it with. 😛
She spooked a bit at the barrels in our arena and did not want to turn left around them. Right was okay, left OH MY GOSH THEY’RE GONNA KILL ME. She’s bad with neck reining, and doesn’t like to turn very quickly, very different ride than Red, who does better with neck reining than open and doesn’t do quite as good with leg pressure.
After our ride, I hopped on Red bareback because I wanted to ride him but didn’t feel like grooming him and tacking up. Maybe not my most brilliant idea considering he’s been more energetic lately and I hadn’t ridden him for a week but YOLO. 😉 Put my helmet back on and got a leg up and he was a good boy.
Red loved the barrels. Completely obsessed with them. We did a couple circles around them and jogged around them, did a couple laps at a very, very slow jog since I hadn’t ridden bareback in forever and it’s never been my strong suit anyways, and he was great. Not a long ride, and most of it was spent not actually working and just hanging out while my mom and neighbor (the one who boards her mare here.) did stuff outside of the arena. Red was content because who doesn’t love standing still?
I tacked up again on Sunday, we had no evening service at church which meant I had a few hours available for BARN TIME!! so I decided to tack up Red since he’d been the one who got to be lazy the day before, and planned on hacking Stormie bareback afterwards, but mom ended up deciding to join me on Stormie and take a ride with me. I was happy to leave the farm and do something different and I know Red was happy to do something different than our usual work in the arena or in our pastures and trails. It took awhile for me to convince her, because she had a headache and also wanted to get some work done at the farm, so I told her I’d tack up for her and get Stormie ready while she did whatever and help her throw hay and all that jazz (I’m normally the pony caretaker while she does water and hay. I groom the pons, work whoever needs it if she doesn’t feel like riding, get them fed, yada yada) if she would ride with me, because riding alone is getting boring. She finally hopped on and we decided to..ride to our house.
Our house is within walking distance, not too far, but we’ve never ridden there because the roads are fairly steep and busy, and there’s lots of neighbors who we know would burst out and talk to us and don’t have much horse smarts, and lots of dogs that would be barking and freaking. I trusted Red to be sure footed enough, he’s good with hills for the most part as long as I give him a loose rein and stay out of his way. Stormie is a little less confident on them, but we decided to give it a try. Our roads are typically fairly slow around the time we rode anyways. Red was absolutely amazing, never took a bad step, was super cautious going down, didn’t even look at the people or dogs, stopped whenever I asked, didn’t give a hoot about traffic. Stormie was great too, a bit squirmy on the road and kind of looky at everything, but she never spooked or did anything stupid.
It was a slightly emotional ride for me, because I’m a very sentimental person anyways, and riding him on these roads again, where we had our first rides, is just crazy. I never, ever thought in a million years that he’d be back home with me, so close to me and where I could see him every single day. When we boarded him, I thought it was over. But here we are, and we’ve both changed so much. Crazy amounts of change. Last time I rode on these roads, I doubled with mom. Couldn’t ride to save my life. I had terrible EQ, no confidence, and a very out of shape, lazy, bald and unattractive horse.
We stopped and talked to my nephews and niece at their house, then our other neighbors, an amazing, sweet elderly couple who were there when Red first came home (they also let us part the massive trailer in their driveway!) came out to talk. After that, we decided to head back to the farm. We had plenty of grass to get in on the side so the horses stayed off of the road for the most part so no one was sore from the road, and the hills are pretty steep and Red wanted to trot up, so I let him. And I posted the entire way. And oh my lanta. It took us quite a few minutes to get back, going up those hills, posting the trot while he is booking it up and having a great time, MY LEGS KILLED ME. And my horse never even broke a sweat. In fact, when we got back home, he was begging to trot more. Like what even horse, where is this energy
Even though my legs are still sore, it was a great workout for that booty and topline of his, so I’ll take it. We rode for about 35 minutes. Both horses were fabulous.
I meant to ride yesterday, but that didn’t work out because I had a small amount of time anyways and my nephew’s pony decided to be the devil. Seriously, the devil.
This little pony..he has some issues. Most of them on the ground. When lunging on a line or when you lead him, he will turn his butt on you and kick out. He’s small, about 11 hands, so usually it’s easy to push him away. He’s a brat at feeding time and very lazy under saddle. But on the ground he is the worst. He is terrible at leading. So, when he turned around to kick out at me yesterday, not just once, and kept scooting his butt to me every time I asked him to walk, and being a complete jerk and trying to run over all of us (he literally ran into my mom while she was leading him.) I decided he needed the workout way more than Red, and brought him up the arena and lunged his butt hard.
I’ve always said I’d rather put up with bad behavior under saddle over bad behavior on the ground. I’m more in control on them, and feel more confident. And whether they’re 16 hands or 30″ tall, I won’t tolerate that bad behavior. He got his butt worked for about 30 minutes. Most of the time he was galloping around being a brat, but in the last 10 or so minutes, he started to chill out, slowed to trot and was more responsive. I dropped the whip, stood in the middle and he joined up, followed me around the barrels, was much better on the lead, stopped when I asked instead of throwing his butt over to me, and was way better. Until we got him out and he saw the stalls and Red’s feed pan.
Then, he decided to charge us on the lead again, drag us around, turn his butt to us again. I made him trot up the hill with me, then walk back down. I’d give him another try, he’d act up. I’d back him up, do circles, make him walk more, try again. Finally, I got him backing up, but he would drag me back around and if I asked him to circle or turn, he’d try kicking and shoving his butt into me. I got a crop out to tap him on the butt if he turned it back to me, and made him do circles. He finally got the idea, and mom took him out for a walk around before she put him up to make sure he was actually chill enough. He was a completely different horse at the end.
I got Red out and took him for a walk around and did some groundwork with him while mom was working with pony. Made me thankful for a horse who’s nice on the ground 😉 Double Scotch literally ran into his stall gate and was crazy and Red was like “lol whatever stupid pony.” I think he felt bad for the pony once my mother got a hold of him. Everyone knows grandma is boss around here, rofl.
Rain is moving back in this evening, so I’m hoping I can get in one ride before it comes in and hoping it doesn’t downpour and ruin the ground. Again.