Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Another horseback ride

After my bareback ride Monday evening, I finally got a chance to ride my horse the "real" way last night — saddle and all.

It was my first ride in the saddle — and therefore my first time trotting and posting — in about two and a half weeks. I definitely felt the results of my little vacation: I had to try harder, and my muscles got fatigued faster.

Panama was also a little more of a stinker than he was last night. I don't know what it is about riding bareback, but he was better behaved when I was. Maybe it's out of courtesy because he knows I'm not as secure, or maybe it's because he can feel me better, and therefore interpret my commands more quickly and easily.

Anyway, last night I had to work a little on getting Panama to stick to the rail in the arena — something he had absolutely no problem with on Monday. However, after a few laps around the arena, he settled in and didn't have too many more problems. We also worked on stopping a few times, and he did reasonably well there too.

Since I was riding Panama at dusk, we did have one moment when a rabbit or some other small creature darted through the brush on the other side of the fence. (Anticipating this also could have been what made Panama shy away from the rail so much, by the way.) Panama actually handled it pretty well. I was asking him to slow down at the time, and as a result he only jumped a little and then stared hard at the bushes.

Panama's biggest problem was trying to slow down when I didn't want him to. I'm not sure if it's because like me, he isn't in as good shape due to the 2-week break, or because he could see his buddies on the other side of the fence. In any case, I only rode for about 20 minutes, so between Monday and Tuesday I think I've given him a good, gradual re-introduction to our daily ride.



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