Indoors only

Its hard to be motivated to ride when its raining out.  Not only do I have to walk through 75% of a paddock in calf deep mud to get to my horse, I have to convince him to go through all that mud to get to the gate.  He hates mud, really truly hates it.  We end up spending a lot of time playing tug of war in the rain as a result.  Yes the icing on the cake.

It doesn’t get any better, since we cant go ride our fun trails like usual.  No we are stuck in an indoor.

Saturday I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  However, Saturday my friends DJ, Dre and Paul moved their 4 horses to our barn, so instead of riding, I did have a good snuggle with a few 4 legged friends I had greatly missed.  Have yet to sync up schedules with their humans however!  I was a bit late at work anyway, one of the ponies I noticed was shivering and overall miserable when I went to feed dinner, so I brought her in and spent a good chunk of time trying to towel her off before putting a blanket on.  Ponies take a LONG time to dry!

Sunday, I was equally motivated as Saturday, meaning not at all.  It was still raining straight through and seemed to get even colder.  My lunch break, I had intended on riding, but I got home, had some nice hot leftover lasagna, curled up under a blanket and it was movies and naps until I had to go back to feed the horses dinner. 

Somehow however, after work I pulled myself together to ride.  Perhaps it was because I had already mud wrestled with the smallest pony to put his grazing muzzle on him, so the damage was done.  Swimming to get Bentley wasn’t going to make me any worse.

He looked so miserable out in the field too, I think he was much happier to work in the dry arena than stand out in the rain. 

So we saddled up, tossed a rainsheet and made our way down to the lower indoor where we ran into Nicole and her mom.  We were the only people around, always nice and quiet on Sundays, but I appreciated having someone else there from a safety standpoint.

Again, we were having trouble picking up the right canter lead, of course he got all crooked after the first attempt and took a lot of time to correct.  Eventually, instead of asking gently for the lead (since it wasn’t working, I gave a quick push from the inside and a kick from the outside and voila!  He got it!

It wasn’t pretty, but it was correct!

We even did some jumping even though we were in the endurance saddle.  Over a small vertical several times and 2 or 3 over a small oxer.  He was pretty good, a bit difficult to calm after jumping (as soon as we turned the corner, he would pick up!) but enthusiasm is never a bad thing. 

As I had promised myself, I would do some work without stirrups.  Since I was in endurance saddle, I opted to just take stirrups right off.  Sitting trot for a while proved difficult, he was taking the sitting to be signal to canter and get rowdy, and I got jostled quite a bit.  I tried posting, but I kept hitting my thighs on the pommel and was worried my lower leg was moving too much and upsetting him.  We changed directions and was no longer going the direction that we were jumping (left lead, I didn’t want to attempt right lead since I just want him to get it, not get it and forget it because hes excited to jump), he was much calmer going that way.  I took that as an opportunity to post and he was good, and I was able to work at keeping my leg still and back without worrying that if I moved a bit, he would take it as a cue to canter. 

Switched directions again and continued posting, slightly more excited again, but much more respectful (perhaps too the posting helped)  since he was being good, I took him over the jump twice so long as he waited for my cue to canter.  He was just wonderful!

Someone had turned off the lights in the barn when we went back up!  Yikes was it ever dark!  And of course, the light switch is at the far end of the barn.  I must have looked pretty funny leading a horse in the dark with my arms waving in front of me.  Good trust exercise I suppose!


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