Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My morning ride

Since I didn't get out to the barn yesterday, I made sure I got out there first thing this morning after dropping Michael off at work.

I was the first one there, and the horses hadn't been turned out yet. Panama seemed happy to see me, and walked right up to the door of his stall to get his halter on and come out. I brushed him, picked out his feet, and tacked him up for a ride.

Since my trainer is coming this week, I decided to ride Panama out in the back pasture — where Leslie rode him during our last session, when Panama was having a hard time listening. I don't want him to be a jerk tomorrow because I don't want her to recommend again that I get him a tougher bit. I think the last time he misbehaved, it was because he hadn't been ridden in the back pasture in a while — not to mention he hadn't been ridden by her recently.

I was hoping to get him used to the idea of riding in the back pasture again today, but I'm not sure exactly how much progress I made. One of the neighbors was having their trees pruned, and the saws and the truck were making a ton of noise. Panama was definitely very alarmed by all this commotion going on right there while we rode. For the first 10 or 15 minutes, I didn't let him trot at all, because I wanted him to get used to the noise (and because I didn't want him to get startled while we were trotting).

Finally we trotted in a bunch of circles each direction. Panama did great one way, and not so good the other way. Although I'd gotten him to the point where he wasn't outright frightened of the noises, he had an unusually bouncy trot going, which I think was because he was nervous. Looking back, I feel a little dissatisfied with the ride, and I think that's why — even though he'd adjusted to the noise remarkably well, the bouncy trot made me feel off my game.

Overall, though, it was a good ride. Panama did get over the noise, and once we started trotting he was responsive to my directions to turn, trot, slow down, etc. I think I just feel like I didn't do as well!

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