Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Getting up to speed

I have been riding very sporadically lately.  I rode last Thursday and then again on Sunday, but both were relatively short rides — because I hadn't ridden for two weeks, Panama was very unfocused, so I wasn't asking for much beyond his attention.

Today I met Spaghetti's owner at the barn for our weekly playdate, and afterward, we rode together as we often do.  The ride started out pretty good.  We rode inside, so Panama was calm.  I got a rather hesitant trot when I asked (after warming up at a walk for several laps), but it was a good pace, so I asked for a canter almost right of the bat.

This was the first time we'd cantered for probably 6 weeks — since before my trainer took my stirrups away.  It was rather bouncy the first time I asked — I think he picked up the wrong lead, although I'm not very good at telling that yet — so I slowed him down and asked for it again.  That time he kicked sand against the door, scaring himself, and bolted for a stride or two before settling into a decent canter.  After nearly a lap around, I slowed him down, and we went back to trotting and walking.

Unfortunately, the canter got him all fired up, and I never did get to canter again.  I struggled to get a slower, more focused trot, and then two more horses joined us, doing very interesting things (horse #1's rider was ponying horse #2, which Panama has never seen before), so I pretty much lost him at the walk, too.  I rode for a bit longer, until he got a bit better about giving me his attention at the walk, but I never did try to trot (let alone canter) again.

That's okay — two weeks off is pretty substantial, so I don't mind taking our time getting back into it.  I do plan on going out tomorrow and riding some more, though — I have a lesson on Friday, and I want us to be more or less up to speed by then!



At November 4, 2010 at 11:57 AM, Blogger Sydney_bitless said...

trot trot trot! Thats the best medicine for a distracted horse. Lots and lots of it. Good for him for cantering somewhat nicely after 6 weeks of not cantering.

At November 4, 2010 at 12:05 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks Sydney. Trotting works when he's a little distracted. When he's all over the place as he was yesterday, though, I like to get his attention at the walk before we trot. He's much more volatile at faster speeds, and trotting sometimes seems to wind him up, whereas walking for several laps typically calms him down.


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