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Every Ride, A Better Outcome

If you celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I was thankful for some time off work to be with family. I also ate entirely too much but I declared it a guilt free day and allowed myself to indulge. And indulge I did!!

I also took this entire week off, minus Friday which is my surgery day and is booked full for me, to stay home and enjoy Wyatt time. Nothing beats being with my buddy.

We make the same selfie face. Scary. I may be more like Doofus than I thought.

Monday was all planned out for a trail ride to break the monotony of flat work in the swampy arena. It is too wet for me to feel comfortable jumping though I do miss it and hope to get some jump time in soon. With rain in the forecast the end of the week, it may not happen until spring. Or I find a covered arena with a trainer who will respond to me.

But then Dusty got home super late after removing plastic from a Boykin’s stomach and it ruined my chance. It was back to the arena and neither of us were too thrilled with it.

I set up the first exercise from the Jumping book: two parallel ground poles set to be ridden between as a focus for circle work. The goals: symmetry, geometry, rhythm, bend.

An older picture of Gem doing the same exercise

H’Appy was being a puppy on a string through the entire tacking process. He never pawed, ate the cross ties or tried to eat me. It was his best behavior to date and I felt good enough about him to forgo lunge work before mounting.

It was a good choice. He was calm, never put a hoof wrong and listened the entire ride.

He was also pokey, behind my leg and doing his best to get away with a western pleasure shuffle instead of an actual trot. My legs were screaming at me by the end of the ride. I may need to buy a crop for days like that if they continue but for now I’m happy to have a horse who wasn’t bucking, trying to run off or fling his head into the next county.

Trying to eat my sweater. The guy is a love bug but also really annoying at the same time. He makes me laugh all the time.

The exercise went pretty well as far as the goals were defined. He was rhythmic, had bend when I asked properly and stayed on the circle I created. I really need to unlock my upper body and remember to look around the circle and plan better but that will come.

I was smiling the entire time and laughed at his attempts to get out of work by sucking back. It was such a good feeling to trust he wasn’t going to do anything stupid and be able to correct him and it not turn into a fight. We will likely have rides like that again, but he is starting to come back around.

Gave the horses a bale of hay as a treat. They all came to investigate the huge fluffy piles.

I eventually grew bored of the circles and became a rebel by creating figure eights, going over the poles and going around them to not include them at all. Variation is the spice of life and all that.

At the end I decided to give the canter buttons a try. I haven’t purposefully worked on the canter in a while and was thinking maybe some canter work would spice him up. I was wrong. He remained pokey the pony.

They weren’t interested for very long. Pete wandered off to graze after a mouthful or two and H’Appy mugged me for attention. Gemmie stuffed her face though

He did give me prompt canter transitions though. They were hollow and head up since the trot was sucked back and behind my leg but he was prompt and didn’t try to run off with me so it was a win for the moment.

The entire ride was exhausting and way too much work but it was also a ton of fun. Someday we will reach a good balance of energy levels. For now I’m thrilled to be enjoying him and getting to work once again. If it ever dries out I’m dying to get some time over sticks again and to continue to build his fitness so that come spring we can get some solid work in and maybe hit up a show.

21 thoughts on “Every Ride, A Better Outcome”

  1. This is my favorite sentence: “But then Dusty got home super late after removing plastic from a Boykin’s stomach and it ruined my chance.” The life of a veterinarian. Also, makes me never want to get a Boykin spaniel…
    Glad you had a great ride! Hopefully it’ll dry up before spring!

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    1. Our Boykin, Einstein, has *knock on all the wood* not eaten anything in three years. Waggy eats everything but since she is the size of a small horse she gets away with it. There are plenty of reasons not to get a Boykin though. I doubt we will get another after him.

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  2. yay on good rides.And yay on being able to ride. SOB. Glad you had a nice ride on the doofus!! And lol I never even blinked at the removing plastic from a Boykin. LOL Poor Dusty! Enjoy your time off!!

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  3. this honestly makes me so happy to read 😀 it’s my favorite kind of riding: working on some stuff, feeling good about it, being pleasantly surprised about some of it, but also walking away with clear ideas about how to keep growing and working next time. i’m so so SO GLAD you and H’Appy are settling into that type of routine finally!!

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