Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Just Another Day in Paradise

Still shot taken from my reining run 01/08/11

After ending my ride with Milo Monday night, I quickly posted on Facebook, "Have I told you all lately how much I love my horse? I just had one of the best rides ever!" and it was true.

I had the amazing fortune to be the only rider in the arena. We had a bit of snow fall in the early afternoon which made the evening lessons canceled. However, the snow had melted by the time I got off work, and it was splendidly empty at the barn. There was L, the same boarder who suggested Dynamite products to me, who was simply longing her fresh mare. So I still had almost complete access to the entire arena.

I also still had Sarah's Cowhorse Equipment saddle, and while I was leery of using it because of my encounters with its bars and my behind, I still decided to ride in it because heck, I had a saddle to use right now and I should take advantage of it.

I didnt longe Milo this time however, he didnt really seem to need it. I just tacked up and hopped on. I walked him around in very symmetrical circles, the perimeter of the arena, and in figure eights to get him loosed up and ready to work (chatting all the while of course with L). Then I asked for the trot and he stepped right into it from the rear, pushing his back up into the saddle. As I worked him in the trot on our circles, he very quickly stayed balanced between my legs and worked a beautiful half dozen circles or so. I pushed him out large and he picked up the tempo, really reaching with his stride and lifting incredibly. It was really cool, I almost felt as though I was on an English horse! I changed directions across the diagonal, and worked on trot circles and then large again. Again, Milo executed them beautifully.

After a few steps at the walk, and solidifying our counter arc bend (Milo thinks hes so smart by the way; when I push his shoulder out to then cue his hip in before the lope departure, he tries to push his shoulder out and hip in simultaneously when I only ask for the shoulder, so I spent a little time just clarifying that he may think he knows what I am going to ask, but you dont do it until I ask). Once I felt we were on the same page again, I asked for the left lead lope. He lifted his shoulders and sprang forward off his rear. After about a half stride he was already into frame, driving with his rear and rounding up his back. But I noticed those pinned ears again. After a few strides they went away, but would come back when I asked him to work on a circle, always coming back when he had to cut across the arena (and even before I would ask with my rein). He would pin his ears for a few strides, then go back to seemingly content, then back to pinned ears, etc. Hmm. The left lope was seemingly his good side before.

After a brief breather from the left lope, I prepared him for the right lead departure then asked for it. The same deal with the pinned ears played this way as well. Milo was moving great, but his ears were telling another story. Hmm. More reason to want to see Sarah. (Have I mentioned how the last two weeks [two lessons scheduled] they both got canceled due to weather, and my truck issues? Now Im wanting a lesson this week but not sure I can commit because of my lack of vehicle mobility, it simply sucks to say the least.)

But as I cooled him out, I tried to work on our spin from a standstill. It was a bit hard for Milo at first, but after a few rotations he finally got the hang of it and executed some nice spins both directions. I jumped off and walked him out.

When I went to put him away, I had brought a small handful of cookies to do our cookie stretches as I have been doing each night I put him away. He gave a good long stretch to each side and one down then I patted him, and gave him his grain. It was just a great evening at the barn.

1 comment:

Story said...

Super nice picture! Sounds like a great ride.