into a puddle

We had a busy family holiday weekend, but I was determined to do more then feed, hug my horse & run this week. I couldn't get anyone interested (won't mention any names) in riding, so I loaded up my car with tack and camera gear, and headed down to the farm myself.

No expectations, other then to spend some time with the horses. Specifically, my horse. Maybe ride, or if they are all spun up just shoot photos. The brisk change in the weather on Thanksgiving night had the horses worked up like I've never seen them before. What a bunch of nuts, racing, bucking and carrying on. When they get like that, I just get out of the way and watch. Eventually they calm down. I really regret not having my camera, especially since it was the last night before Cierra headed up to the trainer. Note to self, bring camera when weather is changing.

But today, pulling into the driveway I found a much different scenario. The combined herds were peacefully sleeping in the warm sun. Guilt set in, do I want to disturb them? Truth be told, I really wanted to ride. As soon as I got out of the car, they slowly meandered over one by one.

I started hauling my tack into the arena. Not the best/safest place, but easier then constantly shooing the others away. Wow, Koda is fat - down one more notch on the girth...and I had to walk the boy who "puffs-up" to get the saddle secured.

It's been a while since I rode and was alone, so I decided to lunge Koda first to see what kind of mind set he was in for riding. Nobody else had to work, and altho sunny, it was still brisk. Why not try something new? I set up two barrels in the middle of the arena. I could figure something out for a thought provoking warm-up, and knew the barrels would add interest to riding. Below is the warm-up we ended up doing, fluid movement, both directions. The black dots are the barrels, I am the X's, and Koda's movement is represented by the circle's. We did a couple of most circles, before progressively traveling to the next spot - of course our circles weren't quite that perfect.

It turned out to be fun! We headed over to the corner to put his bridle on. Koda reached into the bit, awwe, my boy wants to ride?! I tried to get my foot into the stirrup...no luck. I think my saddle shrunk. Great. Apparently I was too stiff and (c)old!! I really didn't want to pullll on the saddle, or stand on the wobbly fence, which left me a small pile of poles to gain some height. Knowing that poles can roll, this could possibly be one of the dumbest things I do. But I tried, and they didn't roll. It helps that Koda stood like a rock. The pole was just enough height for me to get on, let the riding begin!

We did the usual working our way up in gaits, switched directions, added some between & around the barrel stuff. Koda is out of shape, so we took breaks. Did some side passing, or tried to - that wasn't pretty. I need to go back to breaking it down, and being clearer with what I am asking. With no trainer to bark out corrections, I've got to get them in my own head... We loped a little, easing into stops. The ground was semi-frozen, and who knows where rocks (or even pieces of glass) turn up, and then we called it a success. Koda did everything I asked, and didn't balk at a single thing. After un-tacking, I was glad I stopped riding when I did. Koda was just beginning to break a sweat, it was cold and all I had was a brush.

After riding everything happens in reverse,  and you know what Koda did when I was hauling my saddle out?? He walked up to me with my saddle in one hand & hip, and gave me the sweetest horsey-hug ~ good thing I had one hand free to hug back!! This is when my heart melted into a puddle...

back to relaxing, after the ride

Nemo was patiently waiting for his turn, which sadly he didn't get. I thought about at least lunging him, but hadn't asked Brad. Sorry big guy, I'll try begging asking harder so you can ride with us next time. Nemo watched, and followed me every step of the way...

I am not following you.
I am just, um, checking this pole


C-ingspots said...

Excellent!! Sometimes rides by your lonesome turn out being the best rides!! Had to laugh at the shrinking saddle - I can relate to that. :) I always have to use something to haul my big ole butt up onto a horse these days...sad situation for sure. *sigh*
Big horsey hugs always melt my heart too. Your horses look all satisfied and relaxed in your pics...very nice!

aurora said...

You must have the same brand of saddle I do ;) It was a good ride, that has stuck in my head all week. Our weather has temporarily warmed up, hopefully we can all get out again this weekend!