Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A relaxed late-night ride

I've noticed that there are certain times of the day when Panama tends to be more relaxed — or perhaps I should say that there are certain times when he tends not to be very relaxed.  Just before or during dinnertime is a very bad time for me to ride, for instance — he tends to be very unfocused and antsy around this time.

Perhaps surprisingly, late evening is a very good time to ride.  He's pretty relaxed around this time, and since we're usually the only ones out and about at the barn late in the evening, there is very little to distract him.  It feels like a special time when I ride in the late evening, since we're all alone, and he's usually so good.  I don't work him hard or anything, but we have some of our best, most relaxed rides when I go out to the barn around 8 or 9pm.

We had one of those nice rides earlier this evening, around 9:30.  Panama spooked once, when we were riding by one of the big doors at the end of the arena, and it sounded like something on the other side ran into it — I suppose I can't blame him for that one.  Otherwise, though, he was pretty relaxed.  We worked a bit more on letting go, and while I feel like we still need some more work in that area, I was pleased with what we did tonight.

Anywhere between mid-morning and early afternoon is another good time for me to ride.  I guess it's probably no coincidence that both times are a few hours after he's eaten; probably he's so relaxed because his belly is full and his gut is moving.

Do you find that you get the best rides at a particular time of day, and if so, when?

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