Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Priceless Ride

Horses = expensive. A good ride = priceless.

Yesterday's ride was really, really good. Sofie free schooled well, showing off her nice trot and lovely canter and only being a bit naughty, stopping in corners and frantically stuffing her mouth with grass. She wasn't at all reactive to grooming and saddling, which was nice, and she walked around the indoor well. I decided to trot her in the indoor before going outside to see how she was feeling. She trotted willingly in a relaxed frame in both directions, so we went outside to have some fun.

The neighbor guy was building a cute little shed in the Scary Corner, but Sofie wasn't terribly fazed. She didn't like the garbage bags across the road, which seagulls had gotten into and trashed ("What is happening to the neighborhood? There's, like, garbage everywhere!") but they didn't require spooking. They just required staring. Lots of staring.

We meandered about, finding places we could trot away from the barn, since we're keeping the trotting toward the barn to a minimum. The best place is The Place Where The Dog Burst Through The Underbrush, because it's a nice straight line and she's been very well behaved there ever since The Dog Incident (yes, my horse is chronically weird). As I trotted her down the gelding fenceline, she started revving up as we reached the Scary Corner (which she's not really scared of, it's just an excuse to go fast, wheeeeee!). I frantically half halted, then released as I felt her sort of respond, and she flowed into a canter. Fortunately, I was off her mouth, so we had no issues with her getting mad at me because I was holding her back. Her canter was super nice, and I relaxed into it and enjoyed the ride all down The Place Where We Like To Canter, then brought her back with my seat before we turned for the barn. So The Place Where We Like To Canter has been resurrected, but I'm not too worried about it because I actually wouldn't mind cantering sometimes, and as long as we don't get into a pattern of always cantering there, I think we'll be fine.

We went down the trail, where we trotted when the footing allowed, and managed not to scrape my leg too badly on the big branch thing that sticks out, or slice open Sofie's leg on a big spiky branch thing that she insisted on walking right over. We freaked out a little at a bird bursting out of the underbrush, followed two seconds later by a freakin' gynormous grey squirrel jumping out of a tree, but we didn't do anything too drastic. I trotted her on the way back, too, and she actually was more relaxed and had a nicer tempo than she had heading away from home.

Then we worked on a serpentine in the front yard, starting in walk, then moving up to a trot. She did well at staying straight and turning (she can't really bend properly at this point because of her hocks, but I don't really mind as long as she tries) and going where I told her to go. All through the ride I had her trot away from the barn in different places and although she wasn't always thrilled with the idea, her ears weren't pinned, she didn't get all mad (except for one time, and it was quite minor). She's still drifting left, right, left, right as we head away from the barn, but not to the degree she was before. And now when that doesn't result in her getting her way, she trots, as if that will make me reconsider, but instead I go "Yes! Let's trot away from the barn, good girl!" and she goes "That was so not my intention."

I'm sure we will have bad days, but this shows me that I'm on the right track with my training, and I'm sure we'll have plenty more good rides, too.

I need to get new conformation shots (I need to get new pictures, period!) but here are some conformation shots of the Sofa from last fall.

"What d'you mean, square up? I want grass. That's why we're out here, right?"

"The. Grass. Is. Right. There. RIGHT THERE!"

"Okay, fine. Take your stupid picture, beyotches."

"Hey, look, I can make myself look really croup high! Ha. You'll never get a good picture now!"

"Just kidding. I'll be good. When have I ever not been good?"

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Sofie, Sofie! I love how you have names for everything. So cute! Don't you just love good rides???