Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oh Those Simple Joys

Yesterday was the typical Friday: work, clean pastures, and if I had enough energy, muster some up to ride. Well I did, in fact, have just enough energy after cleaning two pastures to ride my horse (plus the knowledge that the indoor arena was empty was too good to pass up. And since I had cleaned pastures it was 6:00 before I was done and Milo was able to get some dinner in his belly. I think he was pleased with that.

The barn was deserted except for one last rider untacking in the aisle-way. I put the saddle blanket on, and paused, than took it right back off and replaced it with our embarrassing pink bareback pad. As noted the day before, I was riding like a flopping fish on Milo while trying to regain correct position and balance on him. So my thoughts to help regain my seat were to work more bareback and build the correct muscles back up, as not having stirrups mean I cannot brace in them and therefore actually have to work my core. And I think as mentioned before, Milo has been known to be a bit touchy bareback since he knows I am unstable (ie crow hopping into the lope - bad Milo) so having the support from the bareback pad to remain stable seemed like a good option.

I must say, I do believe that we can ditch the bareback pad soon. I had been working on my bareback seat over the summer and I know I have gained a lot of it back. Yay me!

Anyways, we started the ride with just a nice long loose walk, changing directions and working off my legs well. Milo was feeling pretty good and really stretching his back and neck. After a warmup with this, I asked for a jog, where Milo stayed balanced and relaxed. Again, we just kind of mosied around the arena, working off my legs and staying soft and supple. I than pushed him into a working trot and worked myself with the posting (again I must add, Ive come a long way since he beginning of summer!), and continued on a long loose rein, as well as Milo staying round and soft.

It was great. For a while I just focused on his movement and mine. One two one two one two...up down up down. He was working really relaxed and well, as was I! I didnt even feel the burn yet! LOL.

I pushed him into a lope (mentally noted that that needs work too, it isnt 5 crazy trot steps, head in the air, than I finally pick up my lead) and here had to go two handed to push him back into frame and use his hind end. It took maybe a lap or two and he finally relaxed down into the lope and did his "freight-train" blowing (its his snort with every stride- the BO calls him the freight train coming up behind her LOL). He was starting to drop his shoulder in the turns so we worked on that a little bit. Wow after maybe a 5 minute work at the lope my legs were screaming at me. But I had been focusing on staying centered and balanced and not leaning forward. Plus I was bareback, screaming legs was expected :)

I transitioned him down to a jog and gave myself and Milo a bit of a break. Once my legs felt about 50% better, I pushed him into the lope the opposite direction and this time he went right into it relaxed and working. It was a great feeling. After my legs couldnt take it anymore, I brought him down to the walk and cooled out a bit. Did a little on our turnaround but hes doing very very well at pivoting on the inside hind I didnt need to work much on it.

I jumped off and rubbed his face. It was a great ride. Just listening to his hooves pound the dirt and feeling his concentration on the job was fantastic.

To end the day great, I had ground tied Milo in the aisle-way and walked from him all the way to the end to shut off the lights. He stayed stock still. Even with all the temptations of things to smell, and an empty grain bucket only a few feet away enticing him to lick the last contents, Milo stayed still and just watched me walk back to him. He got a seriously "Good Boy" for that.

And that, my friends, is why I do the things that I do for my horse. Because he tries so hard for me.


in2paints said...

Must be something in the air... I rode bareback today too. :) There's something wonderful about being so close to your horse.

I bet you'd be just fine without your bareback pad. I used to have one and found it was actually easier to ride without it. I just grab a handful of mane if I need to steady myself quickly. Although it was nice to have a little bit of padding... certain actions can cause a little bit of pain in certain areas. LOL

Story said...

Well...I talked about riding bareback...but I haven't had the guts to try yet lol. Good for you, it sounds like you had both a fun and productive ride.

I've always dreamed of having a horse that would ground tie. Milo is a super good boy!

Anonymous said...

Sounds really nice - that freight train blowing with every stride at the lope is a really nice sign of relaxation.

An Image of Grace said...

Make that 3 for a bareback ride on Friday! I still ride bareback 2-3 days a week and Friday was one of those days. At the end of our arena ride I was invited out for a trail ride. All my bareback time has paid off, at one point we were galloping up a hill and I was relaxed and confident. I never thought I would be able to do that!

paint_horse_milo said...

Wow, bareback really was in the air! LOL.

in2paints- Yes, I think Im very very close to taking it off, as my legs are getting more and more steady and my seat is getting more secure, its getting close to being time!

story- Ive been working on Milo's ground tie for a long time, hes a very inquisitive and curious horse and its been hard for him to be ground tied in the aisleway when theres so much to look at, so it was great that he did so well yesterday that was the farthest Ive walked away from him. Just try a little at a time, Dee will get it eventually.

Kate- Yes Ive been told that was well!!

Melissa- I envy you skills. All I can say :)