Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Between the ears

At my current barn I have a lovely view of pastures and gorgeous mountains. At CJ's barn, I am up in the foothills and have a beautiful view of the hills and at night I can see the city lights.

Friday I rode three ponies. I started with Ries who I've decided (after accupressurist visit) that he is suffering from uneven muscling and soreness at the base of his neck in both his shoulders and chest. It had been way too long to have had a new saddle and not been able to ride in it, so I tacked up and hopped on. The saddle fits a smidge narrow and will be fitted to him in May so I am only doing light rides in it to not cause future problems. Lots of ground work here we come! 

We spent twenty minutes just walking and ten minutes doing a stretchy trot. He felt super! He was extremely in front of my seat and reaching into the contact. I don't want to press my luck with the saddle so that was all the fun we could have. The past few months Ries has been nothing short of an asshole so it has been nice over the past two weeks to finally have my lovable horse back. 

Next I headed over to CJ's to school Vermont and Argorn. Vermont started up very relaxed so I figured now was the time to start canter work for the first time this season. He has always had opinions about cantering and I was anticipating it. To no surprise, it was a total shit show. But having had boring rides the past few days I welcomed the opportunity to practice tactful riding. 

I was delighted that I could remain calm and had CJ's lesson comments floating through my head. I focused on keeping him balanced and responding appropriately to his flails. When he gave me a canter that didn't include flails and wasn't rude I ended our ride. 

Argorn's troubles are being in front of the seat and stretching down. He is like riding an elephant (not that I have, but I would imagine). He is pretty reliable but you really have to be a confident, strong rider. He will give you a million excuses to say no but when you assert dominance he trusts you and responds pretty well. I always try to start my ride out strong and forward and it makes the rest of the ride a lot easier. Because he is old and out of shape we focused on a stretchy swingy trot. Surprisingly he was pretty respectable and tried decently. I gave him lots of pats and told him he was a good Mule Head.  

After riding #muleheadedthighmaster I called it done for the day, looking forward to hot yoga Saturday to stretch out sure to be sore muscles.