dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, November 23, 2014

It's like riding a bike

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.


  1. Yay Steele! That's one of my favorite things about Chrome is that he can go months without being ridden and I can jump right on like he hasn't missed a day. :D Oh and Chrome has been wiggling when I girth up since it got cold too. On warm days he doesn't do it, so I'm guessing it's the weather. I'm glad you're back to riding and I hope it warms up. That sounds miserably cold!

  2. I love your aunt and uncle's house! Very neat!!!
    Also- so happy that you had a lovely ride today- it IS impressive that Steele was so good for you after the break! :)


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