Monday, December 13, 2010

something clicked...

Something clicked today. I don't know if was a product of the extra groundwork and listening exercises, or if Major just wanted to move and was willing to listen so he could do so...I didn't really care why. But after a few miles of occasional unresponsiveness (mainly consisting of breaking into canter when expected to trot) I got a very nice trotting ride of about 9 miles, along the lake in the nicely drained sandy footing. The forest trails had been pretty slick with mud, so we took those slow in the beginning, but the lake was great.

(I'd been reading some great blogs about riding in the snow, cantering horse along snowy paths, it all sounded so beautiful. But after yesterday, where it was 65 degrees in December with startling blue skies, I'll stick with my weather, though visiting the snow would be fun).

There were quite a few riders out, Major doesn't seem that interested and leaves them no problem. I also think part of our successful ride was that I finally felt a good posting rhythm...his fast trot is just so damn fast and I don't want to 2-point the entire time. The trot I managed to get him to stick with is a notch down from the fast version, GPS clocked it at about 11.5 mph. He seems willing to keep this up for quite a while, but I was glad to get about 10 minutes straight of that, then some more in the 7-9 mph range (but was fighting him to stay that speed).

We did one 6-mile loop, and he still wanted to go, so I added on some more. I don't want to be a weekend warrior, but last weekend was the last big (although slow) ride. I'd love to do more long rides, but during the week I can truly only ride in the arena or up the road a bit. With some holiday time coming up I'm looking forward to more rides like today!

When we got home he was a sweaty mess (even though he was cooled off). At first I was just going to sponge him off, but with the weather so nice he got hosed off...then put out in the arena. I sat on a barrel and got to watch my pretty horse rolling no less than 3 times, including grinding his face into the sand, and thoroughly enjoying himself. He'd roll, flipping entirely over, then trot a bit, roll some more. Happy and not seemingly tired from our excursion. When he seemed satisfied with his messiness, he sauntered over to me to share some dirt (and get a carrot).

Good pony. Good day.

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