Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back On The Sofa!

So after a little over a month, I decided to try riding Sofie again. She has been moving better and more forward lately, and the weather has finally cooled around here. It's been so hot and humid and nasty for the past month that I haven't even wanted to ride. Sofie does have a sense of timing...

So I brought out the saddle, which of course prompted a "What do you think you're doing with that thing? I thought I was RETIRED!" look from Sofie. She was less than thrilled with the idea, of course.

I decided to start out in the indoor, since she had been so barn sour and unwilling to go forward the last time I'd ridden her outside. I figured we could do without negotiating hills, at least for the first few minutes of the ride. I also carried a dressage whip in case of any balky moments. She started out fine, and I tried to stick to straight lines and generous turns while still keeping things interesting for her. She stretched down very decisively and very low when I let the reins out, which made me happy. We may not be able to do a whole lot, dressage-wise, but at least our free walk is solid!

I tried a few halts, and she was pretty responsive. She did stall out after one and she thought about acting out, but I tapped her with Mr. Whip and she went forward again. Then I decided, somewhat nervously, to try taking her outside. I was going to walk her just a little ways away from the barn and then get off, but she felt fine so I kept going. She wanted to drift over to the barn, but I said no, and she listened without getting upset (she thought about it, but she didn't follow through). We successfully made it up a slight incline without having a hissy, and kept going on toward the Scary Corner. She looked at something (that may or may not have been an actual something) way off in the woods behind the gelding field, and started to go sideways. I tried to keep her going through the Scary Corner, but she decided that was simply too scary was not going to happen, and she went more sideways and started trotting toward Judy's house. Up a hill.

At this point I was hoping she wouldn't get mad at me for supposedly making her trot up a hill, as she has been known to do, but she decided that trotting away from the Scary Corner toward Judy's house was awesome, and she started thinking about cantering! So of course I went OH NO YOU DON'T and got her half-halted down to a walk and turned away from the house and the barn and we went back toward the Scary Corner, only to drift away again. It took several circles before we could walk through the Scary Corner (with my mom standing IN the Scary Corner, as she often does...it seems to help horses cope with all the terrifying-ness). Then I let the reins out, and she stretched waaaay down, all the way to the ground, like "Oh, I wasn't really scared." Which, you know, I kind of knew. It wasn't as if she hadn't seen it in forever, considering I only walked her through the yard a million times during her month of semi-retirement.

So it was a good, fun and interesting first ride, and I'm looking forward to riding all this fall, if the Sofa allows it. She is The Boss Mare.


  1. Hopefully some time off will do her some good. You should try line driving her. I know I do a lot of rehab line driving.

  2. Ooooh, this is soooo good to hear :)