Saturday, December 18, 2010

One Good Horse

I had a fantastic ride on Milo Friday night. It was clear and cold, but I like that over the rain. He seemed a little frisky in the cross ties so I thought I would longe before getting on. I did, but he really didnt need it, he just plodded along looking bored. I jumped up onto my pink bareback pad and started a little warm up. There were two lessons, cones set up on a long side of the arena, and a ground pole at both C and A. So I had a little maneuvering to do. I got him up into a rising trot to get him to stretch out and lift a bit, which he did very well. And I noticed for the first time in a while, when we would pass another horse, or vice versa, he didnt even care or look. Normally he swivels an ear in their direction, or pins his ears and makes a face (while usually still working for me). I havent really known what to do about it because he was still working for me and doing what I asked. But last night he didnt pay them any attention. Good Milo!

The lessons cleared out and I had the whole arena to myself *GASP*. It was pretty sweet I must say. Ive noticed that lessons dont run as late on Friday nights, which is somewhat surprising to me. Doesnt everyone want to spend their Friday night riding? Apparently not.

Anyways, I had this little revelation when riding. Being bareback I of course could feel his body much more than in the saddle. So when I was asking for his counter arcing, I could really feel that first small step of lift and bend, and reward accordingly. I had never felt that small of an effort before in the saddle. Than I felt bad of course, because I hadnt been rewarding Milo in his learning of it for those small tries he was giving me.

He also was working much straighter and with much less bulging. I dont know if this was because he could feel my leg aids better, or if he really is getting better at just maintaining a forward straight body. Either way, Ill take it!

I wasnt quite sure if I wanted to lope after getting some really nice trotting lift and bend, but the total access to the arena was a bit hard to turn up. So I sidepassed him out onto his driving outside rear leg, than had him lift and bend that same leg in a step or two (at the walk) than smooched and boom! He rocked right back, rounded, lifted his shoulders and loped right off into a left lead lope. No couple trot steps, or a few hollowed moments before the lope. It was great. For a stride or two I wanted to lean forward and tense up my legs. But I noticed it really quickly and sat up and let the tension out and my legs swung rhythmically with his strides. We would circle at one end a few times, than go large, than circle again. And he felt fantastic! Lifted and driving! And my outside rein while coming into play, wasnt needed very much because he was responding so well off my leg. Good Milo! Now Ive noticed my next step in loping will be to keep him on a bend through the turns going large. He tries to dive with his shoulder a bit, and while I tried to pick it up with my inside leg, this is something Ill have to start working on too.

I brought him to a walk for some air before asking for the other direction - the right side where he has previously been feeling a little disconnected. I set him up the same way for a walk - lope departure. The first attempt he tried some crazy trot steps than picked up the wrong lead. That right there told me something is still up body wise. But I brought him back down, set him up, and loped off. It wasnt as beautiful as the other way, but he still did it. Than I quickly noticed that while he was indeed lifted and working well, he was also diving a little bit, bit moreover, his ears were flat back! He was doing what I asked but he was not pleased about it. So after a couple circles I brought him to a walk and cooled him out. Well obviously something is bothering him still. Im going to shoot an email over to Sarah and see what she thinks is up. While he is still continuing to move better on that side, hes either still uncomfortable, or anticipating being uncomfortable.

I ground tied him in the aisle-way, and then when lead him out of the barn and back down to his pasture, noticed how beautiful it was outside. It was so clear and so bright from the moon, it was actually casting a shadow of us on the ground. I honestly could not remember the last time it was so clear and so bright outside - even in the summer! At six o'clock pm, I didnt even need my headlights on at the pasture in order to see what I was doing. It was just very very pretty out. Although this morning I woke up to about three inches so far of snow. Maybe that was an indicator?

1 comment:

Rising Rainbow said...

I'm with you. I can't think of a better way to spend Friday night than riding my horse.