After a good 30 minutes of trying to get those stubborn colts to load, I gave up trying to help and went to go get Red. I didn't have long to ride anyways so I wanted to get him soon. He was chillin' out in the 4 acres with his two girlfriends, Bay and Annabelle. I hooked the lead on him and kind of rushed out to avoid anymore confrontation with Tucker. Red was stubborn so I gave him a pat on the butt and we were off. Annabelle refused to leave his side but she didn't cause any issues so I let her follow. Bay went along too but went back once she figured out that it wasn't suppertime and Red was gonna be worked. :))
|Red and Annabelle.|
Got the girth switched on the saddle, kept the latigo on but it looks a bit worn out so I'll switch it next time. He can be somewhat picky on saddles (see a super old post about that here) but he was totally cool with this one. Woot!! I used the pad, too, also, got the brand wrong, it's Classic Equine, not Professional Choice. Either way it's super nice, soo...not complaining!! I didn't have time to put all of his red tack on so settled with some matching brown/black tack instead. :D Really liked how it looked with the saddle though. It's wool so I thought he'd be super hot with it but the air holes up top helped a bunch and he didn't sweat any more than the norm.
Once he was tacked up, we locked the horseys in the 4 acres, well, all but a couple down below but they are great with letting us ride and not bothering us, and rode him around the 4 acre fenceline, where we took our photos a little while ago. I don't ride him around there unless we're going to the trails but it was really fun to be in different scenery and he did well, so who knows, maybe it's a new spot for us. ;)
Since mom was bored and horse-less she took a ton of photos for me and a couple videos which I'll be sharing in the bottom of the post. :D Woohoo for videos and Instagram! :D :D
Red did really, really well today. He was wanted to go go go and didn't want to slow down, but I got him to settle into a nice supple walk eventually and enjoyed that until I let him loose to run. His walk is evening out now and it seems slower and more refined, normally it was faster and bumpier. He's started to lower his head a bit, not to the extreme, but you can tell he's relaxed.
|Only walking photo I got, mom's riding him in this. :) :)|
His trot. Oh sigh, it looks so pretty. :D One would never think it's so bumpy!! He's really stretching now and I'm so excited!
We mostly focused on some training that I haven't had a chance to work on in the trails. Stopping, for instance. He's slowly getting better at listening to me when I tell him "woah" instead of me having to tug my reins, yell and pretty much stand up in the saddle. After that, we worked on our trot/canter cues. While I love love love that he wants to run so much and feels good enough to do that, I don't want him to just take off every time I mount. He responds better to tap tap tap's rather than a kick, when I literally let the spur touch his stomach and tap him with the reins, he knows to trot. When I give him a little stronger tap and a cluck, that's a cue for a canter. I'm just now finding all of his buttons to push so he's improving along with me.
Mounting was another biggy. Dismounted a few times, slowly got on and told him to stand, praised when he stood, punished when he moves.
For the most part, we just had a much needed, hands on, fun ride. Once we were done with the real work, I let him loose and we kind of trotted/cantered all around the little area we stayed in. He had a few barn sour moments and wanted to go run with the other horses in the pasture but got over it all quickly and listened really well. Worked on backing some.
Saddle was really comfortable and held me in well. I'll be sore tomorrow from using it but I always do that with new saddles. I'm starting to feel more comfortable with his gait and I'm kind of letting him go a little faster rather than holding him back.
My EQ has improved a ton as well, these stirrups were an odd length, one was longer than the other and they were both at the last notch so I'll need to fix that with some trusty dusty hole punchers!! My right leg is still sore from the length difference. My reining has improved a ton ever since I started open reining so that's a great plus. My reins were holding both of us back so I feel like we're moving forward a bit more now.
He also looks really large in these photos, lol!! I told mom he always looks short in the other photos and she goes, "that's because your stupid stirrups were fifteen feet long" :P But yes, he's really that big. One of the biggest ponies on the farm! ;) Also by far the most muscular and in shape.
|"Yeah, I work out."|
Anyways, we had to walk Red down to the barn again because we had to move the van for the trailers to get out, they apparently got the colts loaded. Sat around with the pony and talked to A and mom for a few minutes. I sat down and Red kind of stood next to me and licked my boot for a solid 30 minutes. AM pulled up-the owner of Annabelle-to give Annabelle a bath because she apparently has rain rot. :P Grrr. Really hope Red doesn't get it!! :P :P He was being a ham out front. Kept doing his little "kiss trick" and shoving his nose in my face to "kiss". :)) Mom was cracking up and kept saying, "man, he is so loving." :)) :)) He took a nap with his head in my lap while I was out there. Gah I love that horse!!
Once AM started Annabelle's bath, I took Red out to the front pasture, where our van was currently parked, and went to mount, he takes off trotting with one of my feet in the stirrup. This is what I felt like:
|yeah not so much.|
But I looked like this:
|NOOOOOO PONYY NOO|
But I managed to hop off unscathed and Red got a firm no. ;) Then I may or may not have hugged him. I'm weak.
We had some fun running around the pasture to blow off some extra steam.
Rode him around the van a couple times to see how he would react. He sniffed the back and stared at his reflection in the mirror like, "Woah, who is that dashing gentleman??"
He did great in there other than one mishap that was entirely my fault. Let him get too close to the run in stall!! :) We chilled and talked to AM for a few minutes until I realized how long we'd been gone and how quickly we had to be at church! :P :P Anyways, really, really good ride. Worked on ground manners and stuff under saddle that I desperately needed to work on. I feel like we got a lot accomplished while letting him and I have our fun as well! Here's one of the videos, the only one that's finished uploading. Will post the rest soon.