Fourth Ride

Not having to spend 1.5hrs per day commuting really has it’s perks. I have more time to do things, and more flexibility in my day, And not being able to go anywhere on the weekends means there’s no choice but to stay home and finish some projects that perhaps aren’t my favorite but needed to get done. I finally got all my stupid jumps painted on Saturday, and on Sunday I spent a few hours doing some arena maintenance (ie pulling up all the stupid weeds that took root a couple months ago and I’ve been unsuccessful at trying to get rid of via dragging).

I only finished half so far but it looks much better

Rob came out on Friday so I took advantage of the presence of another human and put another ride on Presto. It was his fourth ride total, second ride off the lunge line. For these last two rides I’ve opted to stay up in the courtyard in front of the barn, since it’s a smaller fenced in area. I wanted to make sure we had enough steering before we went back to the dressage arena with it’s low walls. It’s not 100% yet but it’s much improved even just in the past 2 rides, so I think next time we can go to the arena.

no more fussing about the contact
and he circles!

We’re doing everything without a groundperson now too. I mount unassisted and we just move off and go to “work”. For, ya know…. all of maybe 15 minutes. Mostly we just walk/trot/halt a few times, make some circles and changes of direction, and then we’re done. That’s all I’m trying to do at this point, and I still want him to feel like this is fun and easy, so better to keep everything short and simple. I just want him to go forward and figure out his balance.

why you look so big, baby horse?

And for such a gawky looking creature, he does feel remarkably well balanced. The courtyard is on a bit of a slope so I thought between that and the circles in the small space he might struggle a bit given his size, but he handles it pretty well. I try to just maintain my own balance and let him figure out his own, which he’s been quick to do. He might not always turn when and where I want him to, but the balance isn’t a problem. We do need to work on his response time to the “go” aids… once he’s going he’s really nicely forward, but getting him going takes a little bit of effort. That’ll be the next thing we work on, once we’re back out in the bigger space. As is typical with him, the whoa works really well. Pretty much just think whoa and you’re stopped. So now we just need to tune it up the other way too. 

he looks wild, doesn’t he?

For four rides, I’m pretty pleased with where he’s at. I’m mostly happy that it’s all been really easy so far and he’s 0% worried or anxious about anything. He also feels really nice to ride, like… familiar somehow. I don’t know about everyone else, but sometimes I swing a leg over a horse and they just feel weird or foreign or like something doesn’t click right away, especially since I pretty much just ride one horse all the time. But with Presto he’s felt like home the second I swung a leg over, despite being very different from Henry. It feels like I belong there, nothing awkward or strange about it. 

After I was done I had Rob open the gate so I could walk Presto a little ways away out into the more open field area, then turn around and come back to the barn. His first little very mini hack out that was all of 2 minutes. 

Yes hello I was promised cookies, please insert below my milk mustache 

He’s becoming more of a real boy by the day. 

I’m about to give up on keeping the damn fly boots on him though. Now he’s taken to tossing them over onto the neighbors property.

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He figured out the duct tape, so now he just rips that off in about 10 seconds. This kid, I swear. I used to say that his mother sometimes used her exceptional smarts for evil instead of good, and the apple definitely isn’t falling far from the tree on this one. He is adamant that he does not wear fly boots. So ungrateful. Henry loves his, no more stomping. I think Presto just can’t handle having toys attached to his legs, the temptation is too great.  

Other than riding and doing chores around the farm, I also got a virtual horse-girl happy hour in on Zoom!

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3 bloggers present!

Well, horse girls plus Bobby. Except he was the meeting host and thus had the power to put me on mute, which he did every time I insulted him. So basically I spent a lot of time muted. That’s ok, I don’t need sound to let him know how I feel. It was nice to get some horse friend chatting time in, even though there was a dreadful lack of chips and queso at this happy hour compared to most. I did have Ben and Jerry’s though, so not all was lost.

There was also another new baby at WTW over the weekend, which we’ll talk about tomorrow! There’s still lots happening, despite the fact that it may seem like the world has come to a bit of standstill in other ways. Hope everyone else is still surviving okay and managed to fill up their weekend too! 

11 thoughts on “Fourth Ride

  1. You need to get Presto one of those donuts dogs wear instead of the cone of shame. A big one so he can’t reach his fly boots.
    Have you tried putting Henny’s fly boots on him? Maybe this is his way of objecting to the colour…
    Fwiw I don’t think he looks crazy big under saddle. But I am used to wbs, most are a good deal over 16 h.
    Love his trot, so big and floaty without being ott like some dressage-bred horses.

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  2. I totally understand swinging a leg over a horse and feeling something’s “not right” (not in the healthcare sense, in the “we’re not gonna click” sense). My friend has/had 4 Arabs (one has since passed, she was 33). Her first three, we all get along SWIMMINGLY. Her youngest, she and I just don’t click, and we haven’t from the first time I ever rode her. I’m not sure why, as she’s trained exactly the same as her other horses, but there’s just something not quite right when I ride her. So I don’t, usually. I certainly CAN, I know her buttons, and I have (like the month a couple years ago that my friend was out with an injury and couldn’t ride), and she’s obedient enough, but I’d rather not.

    She feels the same way about my horse, though I think her concern with my horse isn’t necessarily that they don’t click, and more that my horse has a fast, hard spook that I haven’t quite figured out how to stop, so my friend is a bit scared that she won’t sit it. She totally would, but sometimes it’s a confidence thing!

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  3. I love how relaxed and capable he looks. I’m sure your quiet seat supports that too. Even at this beginning stage, the trot looks balanced and light. So nice when things work out the way we hope. I wish you continued success.

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  4. I very much know that feeling of belonging up there. I had that with Rio. After his two year retirement, it felt amazing to climb back up there. When I was shopping for him, one other horse I tried felt like that too. I just got on and knew how to ride him, and felt comfortable immediately. It’s kind of a rare feeling. So special, honestly.
    Presto looks amazing, and I’m just super excited for you guys!

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