Weekend Riding

Got lots of riding in on the weekend!

Friday, Tayla from my work came over to meet Bentley.  We showed off a little with his beautiful quiet gallop, and then ruined it with the inability to trot after the canter threshold was broken.  Nothing new for us!

After that I did some laps around the cornfields, meeting up with Jaime and the Taylors for one of the laps.  We finished in the cool twilight with some stirrupless work in the ring.  I was very impressed with Bentley, since this was the first time I tried this with him, we really haven’t even done any sitting trot.  Truthfully, I am happier to sit trot without stirrups than with, they just get in my way and I am too busy trying to keep them on my feet to worry about what my seat is doing, and that’s just WRONG!

At first Bentley was like “what?  are you asking me to stop?” but after the encouraging squeeze it was like “ohhhh right, you also sit when we are going to canter, I’m going to go really fast and wait for the signal!”  and eventually he settled into “I’m not so pleased with your bouncing, but since you wont let me go fast OR slow, I will just be nice”  And it was so nice!  We walked around in the dusk quietly, nobody else around but the crickets chirping.  It was so peaceful, I could have stayed all night.  Ended up with a good 8 miles.

Saturday I did a morning ride with a very clear goal.  We walked our warmup, trotted 20 minutes, walked 10 minutes, trotted 20 minutes and cooled out.  I wanted to see what his stamina was like since at Coates we will likely spend a ton of time trotting.  After the first trot Lee said he looked “Happy”.  He was eager to do more.  After the 2nd trot, he looked a little bit tired, relieved to walk, but certainly wasn’t difficult to keep going.  He has lots more to give.  Didn’t bother cantering since we are still having lead troubles and I wanted to have a ride where Bentley can just have fun, not trying to learn anything.  I am starting to learn where to push and where to give in training.  Garmin recorded 7.26 miles.

Saturday afternoon we took Heather to camp, I will blog about that another time.

Sundays ride goal was long slow distance.  Linda and I rode together and wanted to try some different terrain over the plateau.  So we did a couple of big hills, through the creeks and even went down the road.  This was a first for both of us, our barn is on a very busy road and I have been nervous to cross it.  Once we crossed however, the back road, while paved, was very quiet.

Bentley was such a trooper.  He has never been ridden on any road, let alone through suburbs.  We saw a few people from their porches look both startled and excited to see horses, nobody rides on the roads in the GTA!  Bentley had a few good looks at some horse-eating balloons marking a party and a strange outcropping of rocks we humans call a retaining wall, but overall, things didn’t scare him.  Not the motorbike that went by noisily or the bicycle who snuck silently up behind us.  We saw a few trails off the road and wondered where they went, didn’t follow them for fear of private property, but you can be assured we will start investigating!

His feet held up well, we did a half mile trot along the paved road, and probably another quarter mile.  Shaved off a bit of toe in the front, but not as much as I was expecting.  He has good hard feet!

Overall we finished our ride with 12.1 miles at a slow pace.

Good golly I think hes ready! 4 More sleeps!

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