I’ve neglected this blog majorly. I’d like to have something good to blame that on, but I don’t. I’ve been riding bareback and haven’t touched my saddle in like, a month, but I have been doing things.
Okay, I’ve been walking around on Red. That’s about it. But it’s still riding. We did get out of the arena the other day and had a nice little bareback hack. I’m starting to get more confidence on him and he seems to be back to his normal self, but I’ve still put off tacking up for an actual ride. In my head, he’s not ready for actual work even though he definitely is, and any time I get myself excited to ride, I walk outside and nearly die of a heat stroke within minutes. It is literally 90 degrees and it’s flippin November. I’d post about my bareback rides, but they are very boring and I really saw no need to update y’all on how many laps around the arena we made a couple days ago or how I forgot to change out of my jeans before going into a store after one very long bareback ride and I got a lot of weird looks and I wondered why until someone said, “Wow, your pants are dirty.”
But I actually tacked my horse up today. I spent 5 minutes in the tack room debating on what bridle I wanted on him. He hadn’t been seriously worked in months other than one ride, so I considered the shanked hack so I would have better brakes in case he decided to buck around like our first real ride back. Then I considered the Little S…but that is our trail ride bridle for just poking around and I wanted to do more than just poke considering that’s all we’ve been doing for months. Then, the bosal fell on top of my head-literally-and I thought “what the heck” and grabbed it, deciding to work more on our trot and collection. This seems like the only thing we work on ever, but in my defense, we starting working on canter right before he decided to blow the first abscess from hell and he’s not ready to canter yet because OH MY GOSH SO MUCH ENERGY. We’ll be back there soon, I think, but until now…slow work. I don’t want to die.
I got on and asked for a walk. He was cool with that until he wasn’t, and then he tried bolting around. I feel weird saying this because bolting is bad, obviously, but he wasn’t really out of control…just very energetic. So, I made him halt, made him walk a couple laps, and basically just gave him rein and let him burn energy and we ran around aimlessly for a bit until I picked my reins up and asked for something nice and not giraffe like.
So we slowed down to a walk again, I made him flex a bit to get him used to the bosal again, we did some spins-I’m really working with getting him more supple and better with releasing his head to me. He’s naturally very stiff and likes to brace against everything and I really like a nice, supple ride. He was bad with this in the beginning but after a few flexes he seemed to soften up and did really well with turning and backing on a very loose rein. I like to be able to do anything with a light touch and that is not the kind of ride Red is naturally so even though it seems simple, it hasn’t been easy to get him to be soft.
Then, I asked him to trot again and my jaw nearly dropped. Second ride back into work. The last one was weeks ago. This is a shot from our first lap around:
The trot was very nice, better than I expected because normally after a couple days off, our first lap is very giraffe like. This very much resembled a respectable trot. And then…I let him walk another lap and asked him to pick up the trot again and he proceeded to move like this for the rest of the ride:
We did another lap…
Y’all know that I’ve been trying to get his head lower and his back rounded for a very long time. He’s done it every so often for about 4-5 steps then stops. Today is the first time that he has done it for a complete lap without breaking it. Actually, he did it for multiple laps around the arena. While my EQ is absolutely horrible, he was rocking it. The trot felt extremely comfortable and he felt so light in my hands. Really happy with how he’s working in the bosal.
We still have things to polish and fix, and the canter has remained nearly untouched, but man, I’m really impressed.