We tacked up Western and I slipped on the new spurs I bought back when we were at the driving clinic. By the time I mounted up the friend I was riding with was already at the barn. I swung up and Spud followed along quietly by Suzie's side, only after trying to plant his feet and giving me a dirty look. Sorry dude, you need exercise too.
|We took a selfie a few nights ago after I |
picked the paddocks. Classy.
We picked up a trot on some of the softer spots, with Suzie in the lead and the rest of the crew following. I was pretty happy with Suz because whenever we have gone faster than a walk on trails with other horses she reverts to her drill teaming days and trying to get her to walk again is a feat in itself. Last year when I had Tally and a friend of mine wanted to canter on the trail, I tried to but Suz subsequently LOST HER SHIT and proceeded to gallop sideways and put her head in my lap. No mare, just no. Small victories, right? I felt good about the situation and wanted to start tackling the problem instead of hiding from it and it was a good move, I think.
The horses had no problems picking through some of the muck and mud and Spud gleefully trotted ahead once we started heading "home" towards the fairgrounds. Much to Suzie and AJ's disappointment, they were not allowed to trot ahead with the little pony.
The fairgrounds had some people at it for a Horse Club Meeting which I missed (oops) but I did get a decent school in on Suzie. It wasn't anything super fantastic, to be honest. One of our more "meh" schoolings since I made one of the biggest mistakes I could ever make: I didn't warm her up in the arena properly.
|Enjoy this awkward photo of Suzie when she got her|
feet done on Friday.
I didn't do much in the way of getting after her for speeding up - it's a balance issue and other than setting her up to bend through the corners and "picking her up". Other than that, I let her speed up for a few strides and figure it out on her own. She hasn't been ridden for a week and a half and with an older horse, muscle memory is difficult to achieve. It certainly was not her fault in the least.
I ran through some mock Reining patterns and her adjustability in the lope is AWESOME. SO much better than when we first started out and although it takes some encouragement with my seat to really bring her down to a collected lope, she really tries and pulls it together for me.
|And Spud playing coy with the farrier.|
Once at home, I rode her in the back pasture just practicing yielding her haunches and fore-quarters since we got into a ginormous argument back at the fairgrounds when I was trying to get her to move over so I could close the gate. She obliged and we ended it there though I realized how important our usual warm up is and that "just trail riding" isn't a true warm up for her. Getting her attuned to the aids is important, not just warming up her body/muscles.