We mounted in the driveway for the first time in forever and walked up to the gate, which was closed, so one of us had to dismount. Normally, mom does this because Spirit is so easy to mount and Red is not nowadays (although he's getting better.) but I told her that I wanted to do it just to test Red. He was very calm and happy so why not? Dismounted and opened the gate, got him to the other side and mounted up pretty quickly once he saw that mom was there and wouldn't let him get away with anything, then we went to the 4 acre pasture. I let Red trot around the fenceline away from the barn because he was definitely holding himself back. I didn't want to do too much running since his back was just now healed (he got cut up on something.) but I did let him get in a little bit of trotting before I slowed him. His trot definitely felt better and I do think he collected pretty well now that I know how to use my legs and reins.
We circled the pasture a few times, tested them for awhile just to see how they were acting barn-sour wise and they passed all of the tests. Red turned to the barn, walked slowly, let me turn him away, stopped and did everything perfectly. Normally he'd be fighting to be back at the barn when I was turning him that way and actually letting him walk towards it.
Spirit was a bit tense and tender from no shoes for the first few minutes but he settled down really nicely soon after once mom let him get some energy out. We were joking today that Spirit and Red would be perfect for drill team because they copy each others movements so well and don't mind getting close or trotting closer like other horses may act ornery with.
He was very alert today but kept his spooky side at bay for the most part. Red's chill attitude definitely helped him calm himself when he did get anxious. They are the perfect match for each other and manage to steady each other out so well when it's needed.
Since we just worked in the pasture, there isn't much to say. We did lots of walking back to the barn, making them go slow instead of them walking to canter home. Lots of circles and standing still. We got in some fun trotting and Red loved walking around in the breeze with his head down low. He definitely prefers this to the lessons, haha! He was actually tense when I was tacking him up and eye-balling the bridle until I slid it over his nose and he saw that it was the hackamore and not a bit.
It was really nice to get on my horse and just ride. No motives and really no training goals in mind other than making sure he wasn't barn sour and keeping him in check, which I really didn't have to do much of. He's such a good boy and I love these rides more than anything, just riding on the buckle and enjoying the company and nature. He loves it, too, which is a big perk.
I put him through a lot of things that he would have every right to get anxious over - rode "side saddle" for a few minutes, made him stop and sat cross-legged in the saddle, took selfies and was just being silly and he just sat there like "Mkay, get it out of your system, lady." When he had that bit in his mouth, I was uncomfortable and so was he. I would've never had the confidence to do that stuff on him because he is so tense with a bit and while I have NOTHING wrong with bits, it just isn't the best option for us.
We trotted in some circles and zig-zagged around the pasture once they started wanting to go to the barn to see what was going on, and after a few minutes of that Red was back in work mode and was ready to walk around again with a low headset. He gets tired of being bad after awhile, and even though he was really never bad, he was definitely understanding that until he settled down 100%, he'd be going in circles. ;) Spirit calmed down the second that Red started walking around like Eeyore again and we resumed our ride.
Then, they came up in the pasture and we stood and talked for awhile. Red fell asleep, no joke, while we discussed the ride and then "AM" came galloping right towards us on Annabelle and Red was like "Umm, hello." and wasn't fazed at all. Surprisingly enough, Spirit didn't mind either. Yay good ponies.
They decided to cool their horses off since they'd been riding for awhile and mom and I took Red and Spirit to the trails, where they always act up. Red did perfect so when I knew that he wasn't going to be bad, I dismounted and ended the ride on a good note and loosened his cinch to walk him home. Spirit calmed down the second he saw Red walking behind me and we walked around for a few more minutes and wrapped up.
|Red says goodnight.|
Untacked, cooled off, got them fed and cleaned up while we talked to everyone and then said our goodbyes. :)
This week will be insane so not sure when the next ride will be. Good news is, in 3 months I'll be riding a couple times a week and the blog will be a lot more interesting, haha!