Here is where we stayed for much of our vacation- my Aunt and Uncle's house which is made up of modules shaped like hexagons:
|isn't it cool?|
As much as I had on our vacation (and I had a ton!) I missed my animals. And I really missed riding. When we got home saturday was cold (-4) and given the temperatures that we had just left it felt really
cold. However, today was 8 (celsius) and the sun was shining. I was excited because that meant I could ride. I sent a text to Cynthia and enticed her to join me.
Before she came I dragged the ring and put away the drag for the year. I can always get it out again if I need it but I didn't want to leave it to get frozen to the ground. When Cynthia arrived Steele came down to say hello. I put some carrot peelings in his dish (thanks Cynthia!) and he came right into his stall. I closed him in. With a sigh Irish followed.
Since it had been over 3 weeks since I last rode I decided that it would be prudent to do some ground work first. It's not that I expected him to be wild but I wanted to re-establish our working relationship from the ground first. He stood very still while being groomed but moved a bit when I tightened the girth. I think I was too fast and surprised him. I went to put the bridle on but when I took off the cross ties he tried to go to Irish. I corrected him and he stood and took the bit like he's supposed to.
When I brought him into the ring he swung away to watch Irish come up the hill. It would be easy to ignore that but I went around and moved him back to where I wanted him to stand. With a sigh he stood while I prepared the lunge line. I started with some turns on the forehand and backing up. I then put him out on the circle to work. He was looking around and was obviously fresh but he listened to me and as we worked I could feel us connecting back together. At no time did he pull or try to run away. Twice he indicated that he was going to stop and reverse but I know his signals so I got on him before he could be successful.
After about 5 minutes I decided to get on. I lined him up at the mounting block and off we went. I was so impressed with him. I had my first ride on him on May 3 of this year (6 months ago), he just had 3 weeks off and I wouldn't have known it from his behaviour. He responded to my aids really well- better than I deserved with some. There were a few times when I could feel him tensing up and getting ready to spook but I just tightened my core and breathed and he relaxed right back to me. I have to say that I could truly feel him looking to me as a leader as his rider. This has been growing but today I felt like it was there. I rode for about 45 minutes and decided to call it a day.
I was quite happy to be back in the saddle and he seemed to be quite content about the whole thing too.