It seems like once a year, in February or March, Show Buddy and I make plans to ride together at the local indoor. I hadn't realized it before, but it seems to have turned into a tradition of sorts. Typically, Show Buddy and I ride together at shows and clear round/percentage days - we also tend to watch eachothers lessons when possible - but planned riding time often goes by the wayside, especially with my hectic schedule and the living distance between us (50 minutes).
The fun days we spend riding together are always warmly welcome, especially to get rid of the left-over winter doldrums (especially this year!). A big part of me is wanting to push myself to ride with Show Buddy more in these "no pressure" situations. We had always talked about trail riding together and I'd like to make that a reality this year, hectic schedules be damned!
Now, onto the fun:
|I am loving the reach she gets with that hind leg.|
I just need to learn to sit the fuck down.
Sunday morning I was up long before my alarm, but ended up getting myself together at a glacial pace. It didn't help the truck needed gas, so by the time I was hitched and on the road to the barn, I was already behind. When I finally arrived, I packed up the essentials and tossed all my tack in the truck so it would warm up a bit vs sitting in the trailer and staying cold.
Annie was pretty good - she danced around a little bit and I just waited her out (about 5 minutes) before loading her. She gets quite anxious when she sees the trailer - she'll snort and blow hard, but still gets in quietly for me. She usually will "tap dance" in place as I get her tied and her hay bag sorted out. Although she will eat treats from my hand, she refuses to eat hay. I still stick the net in there just in case, as part of me hopes she gets the hang of it soon and relaxes enough to try picking out a few nibbles. I imagine the lasting damage of our Trailer Issue is still prominent in her brain, which will take years of good experiences to erase/diminish.
|She jumped some of them with... erm... enthusiasm.|
Annie was good to tack, and scarfed down some hay while Show Buddy and I set up some jumps. It didn't take long before I threw a leg over and started our warm-up. Annie felt a bit "up" during the first few strides of walk, so I quickly went to work bending and asking her to yield. She immediately softened and quietly went around the ring. Even as Show Buddy lunged Riley and he did his most impressive display of aerial acrobatics. Before riding, I had chose to wear a very small set of POW spurs, as the previous ones I wore in my last Trainer K lesson seemed too big/bulky for me and I worried I would accidentally poke Annie at the wrong time. The small spurs proved to be a good choice, as I had to really concentrate my efforts to put them against Annie's sides. Otherwise, I just used my leg as per usual. Once we started to jump, I did take them off though.
|I almost peed myself doing the oxer.|
The video makes the picture look a lot nicer than I rode it lol
She felt a lot more balanced and rhythmic than she has in a long time - still falling out in her shoulder, but I just floated the reins at her and went into a half-seat for most of the cantering. It was a nice feeling and even Show Buddy remarked how relaxed and quiet Annie seemed. Her tail hardly swished and she felt as if she could've quietly bounded around in the canter for a long time.
|This is what an uncertain rider looks like... haha.|
I did have a few boo-boos, mostly where Annie ran out on the second fence of a line. In my defense, Show Buddy set the jumps too goddamn high and I was secretly relieved when Annie did a polite detour around the second jump, which happened to be a vertical that made me want to pee myself. I chose to take the two "scary" jumps as single fences instead and Annie did really well with that. Gymnastics and lines make me nervous, and looking back I wished I had asked to have them lowered so I could have had Annie go through them more successfully.
|Annie says: "Just sit there, I'll do it."|
The afternoon was really fun - I enjoyed my horse and found that she seemed to have a passion for jumping sticks. I need to work on my position a bit tho, because I find myself being tossed forwards slightly on the landing side of the jump, typically 1-2 strides afterwards. Thank god Annie is so honest and let me push myself back up using her neck a few times. It's a bit embarrassing, as the jumps weren't even that big, but I guess my balance leaves much to be desired.
When we were finished riding, we turned the horses loose in the arena to roll. Annie surprised me by hunkering down to roll and then popping up like a literal Jack in the Box and throwing one of the biggest fucking bucks I've ever seen. She proceeded to gallop around and buck and kick and squeal.
Uh, thanks for not doing that undersaddle?
She went down a few more times to roll - I bet the sand felt good - and galloped around a bit more. I haven't ever witnessed her playing before, but she seemed to have a good time ripping around. I imagine it felt good to stretch her legs, as the horses have very limited pasture space due to all the snow.
Leaving the indoor I had to reinstall a few manners into Annie because Show Buddy left to load Riley and Annie was Forever Alone and Sad. Once she had a Come to Jesus meeting she settled and loaded quietly when I brought her around to the trailer. She was slightly dancey when we dropped Riley off and called out to him a few times, but seemed to keep her skull firmly atop her head. The haul home was fine and she unloaded great as well.
All in all, a very successful outing. The last time I truly "rode" Annie was exactly a month ago and her ability to keep a
|A good bean!|