Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lovely Sunday

I had one of those all-around good days.  Not only did I have an awesome ride on Panama in the afternoon, I also met with the family I'm going to start nannying for in the afternoons and discussed scheduling and other important details.  Afterward my husband and I spent some time reading in our local Barnes & Noble's cafe, one of our favorite activities and something we do at least once a week.

But back to today's ride.  The weather was lovely today — probably about 60 degrees, sunny, and calm.  Hard to believe it's supposed to snow again mid-week!  And hubby and I were there during the day for once, so I took advantage of the opportunity to ride outside.

Panama was apparently enjoying the sunny warm weather, too, because he spent most of our ride half-asleep on his feet.  Whereas outdoors he usually tends to rush, today I was having to work to keep him from breaking to a slower gait, both at the trot and the canter.  Don't get me wrong, it was nice to ride a sleepy horse for a change, but it's a different challenge, that's for sure!

We trotted, cantered in both two-point and sitting, and worked on an exercise my trainer says will help me build my core muscles — instead of posting up-down-up-down, I post up-up-down-up-up-down.  It's a hard exercise, especially when I'm focused on not using the reins (and Panama's poor face!) to find my balance, but I noticed that today it was significantly easier than it was during my lesson last week.

Toward the end of the ride, he did start waking up a little, and at that point I had to work a bit on him not speeding up.  Unfortunately I had some time constraints, but I focused on my breathing and remembered to gently "check" him with the reins as we turned the last corner before the straight side of the arena that he likes to rush down — usually a couple of light half-halts or even a twitch of the reins, the instant I know he's thinking of speeding up, serve as a reminder to pace himself.  I made sure we ended on a good note, and called it a day.

Hopefully I can make it out there for at least one more outdoor ride before the nasty weather hits Tuesday night!



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