Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mixed bag

Today's barn trip was neither great nor terrible — Panama was pretty fussy, but with some hard work I was able to get him focused — it just wasn't as pleasant a ride as either of us would have liked.

I had a farrier appointment first off, and I was running late so I didn't have any time to groom Panama beforehand.  He was fussy while the farrier worked on him, unusually mouthy — he kept trying to lick me, take the farrier's hat off, pick up his tools, etc.  I think it was probably a case of me not having ridden him since Friday, and him feeling a bit needy as the result of being bored.

After the farrier, I spent a long time grooming, then tacked up and rode.  We followed another horse into the outdoor arena, a 10-year-old bay roan that Panama hasn't had a chance to make friends with yet, so that and his overall fussy mood added to his usual distractions in the outdoor.  The roan's owner was giving a riding lesson to her friend, a novice, though, so I was concerned about Panama being disruptive and tried to keep him far away from them.

I noticed right off the bat that his focus was practically non-existent.  His trot was also extremely choppy and bouncy, clearly a result of his excitement and lack of focus, and his canter was rushed and not very controlled.  We rode for a long time, and eventually I got him to settle into a nice canter in both directions, but it took some time and work.  As a result of all the work I did there, though, I didn't get to practice dropping a stirrup at the canter — because there was no way I was going to do that with him not under good control.  I wish I would have had the opportunity to practice that a little more since my last lesson 2 weeks ago, but I also think the bareback practice (trotting) has been very helpful, so I guess it's a trade-off.

I've got lots of horsey plans over the next few days — a lesson, a ride with a friend, and some time with Rondo — so it should end up being a very horsey week!

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