Making the extra trip to the barn so Cholula gets some turnout time:
Absolutely worth it.
Later in the day I drove back out for a ride. I whistled to her, and as usual she looked up at me for a few moments…and went right back to eating as much grass as she could possibly shove in her mouth for the 30 seconds it would take me to unlatch the gate and walk over to where she stood.
However, as I walked in her direction I was focused on sorting out her halter and lead rope. Just as I had them untangled I glanced up and Cho was putting her head in the halter. She’d actually taken an eating break to walk a few steps to meet me.
Sadly, too wet to ride outside. Again. I know everyone is all “blahblahblah Texas drought blahblahblah” but it’s been too wet to ride outside for like 7 weekends in a row.
The ride was the same as these rides have been: lots of walking. And then some more walking. And some things at the walk.
Eventually, we pick up the trot, and work long lines and go large around the arena for most of it, occasionally a 20m circle here and there, lots of transitions, changes of direction. Stretching through as much of this as possible.
And the canter, which I have been working on doing more straight lines because it is a definite weakness for her and myself.
My main focus in the canter is a) keep her going while staying in the correct position and using minimal aids and b) my seat. Swinging. Scooping like the ice cream champion I aspire to be.
I have been swinging my stirrup leathers right out of their keepers in both directions at the canter and it’s driving me crazy. This wasn’t a problem until a few months ago. I don’t know why this is happening but I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m doing it wrong.
Near the end of the session I felt like we should do more but I was bored with all of the above. So, naturally, long side gallops.
This horse, you guys. This horse. As Natalie said, “Because she’s Choface.”
Walked to the corner, asked for shorter steps. Wait. Asked for her to go and she went for a really fast trot. Because Friesian. I encouraged her and suddenly she realized it was ok and cantered.
Brought her back. Trot. Walk. Back to the corner.
Totally calm. It didn’t even feel like she’d be able to pick up the canter because of how calm she was.
“Are you ready?”
An ear flicked back to me.
“Ok…GO.” Kiss. Outside leg back. And a BURST into the canter, from a near stand still. The whole side her ears flicking from me to pointing straight ahead, and nearing the corner back to me, waiting for the cue to trot. Which we did. And walk into the corner and repeat.
I just find it hilarious and wonderful how patient she is in this exercise despite the energy she’s putting forth. Such a good pone.