Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Riding with friends is more fun!

This evening I met Spaghetti's owner, A, and her friend E out at the barn.  E is going to school to be a vet, but needs more "animal time" — I guess they have to clock a certain number of hours of vet time and animal time.

Anyway, we turned Panama and Spaghetti out together for a bit first, but they were rather uninterested in playing until A brought out the whip.  Then they ran a bit!  I was surprised they weren't more fired up, considering we'd had some rainstorms and cooler weather today.

When we rode, Panama was pretty good, but Spaghetti was being a pill.  Apparently he ran away when A took his halter off to try to bridle him, and she had to go catch him.  (I missed all the fun, since she tacks up at her trailer, on the other end of the property from the cross ties where I tack up.)  So she lunged him a little bit before riding.

We rode outside, since Panama needs more practice in that arena so that he'll stop rushing so much there.  Someone had left a couple of folded-up lawn chairs leaning against the shelter, just outside of the rail, and Panama was using them as an excuse to act silly.  I was riding him back and forth along the rail there until he stopped reacting to the chairs when A got on Spaghetti.  He started showing a fear of the chairs too, so A got down, brought one of the chairs in, and rubbed it all over his body before putting it back.  He was fine after that, but considering how calm he was when he had a chair balanced on his saddle, I think it was rather more silliness than real fear.  And considering the other naughty things he was doing, such as rushing across the arena to try to catch up with Panama (and getting in our way twice), I think it was just Spaghetti being a pill.

I decided to try something else then, and brought a chair into the arena, opened it up, and sat it in the middle of the arena.  Panama hardly even reacted when I opened it up while he was sniffing it, and had no problem walking or trotting by it.  Spaghetti just wanted to bite it.

After confirming that our horses are not actually scared of lawn chairs, A's friend E rode Spaghetti a little bit, and he was a pill for E, too.  Spaghetti quickly figured out that E didn't know what he was doing, and decided that moving forward was optional.  A had to use the lunge whip to get him moving, and then some more to get a trot out of him.  I guess that's better than what Panama might do with a new person on his back — I worry about him spooking or bolting, and therefore my trainer and I are the only ones who have ever ridden him — but it was still pretty funny.  We had a good time laughing and goofing around in the arena, and Panama and I got lots of walk, trot, and canter work in with very little rushing.

We stayed out there until it was nearly dark, and then put our horses up.  It was a nice evening!  Somehow, riding with friends — even when we don't do much — is always more fun than riding alone.

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