Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rides by Color

I am nearing the end of my vacation. Probably half of it was rainy, but the other half was super fall weather. Peggy and I would say "who are we riding?" For some reason, the horses have been paired by color when we think about riding and even for turnout.
So first up, the Dark Girls:

Their first ride was just doing intervals, stretching the muscles shortened by mincing through mud slicked grounds.
Their second ride was a fun trot around the woods. We went over logs and up hills. Nothing out there got a jump out of Dottie, but Rosemary gave me one jump. It also showed me Rosemary will need a trace cut soon.

Then came the Red Boys:

Their first ride was Roscoe's time to ride with another horse in the ring. He had to deal with Comrade trotting around him and coming at him. I could not get Roscoe to trot by Comrade trotting the opposite direction, but he at least kept walking. Both of us are figuring things out slowly.
Their second ride actually was separate. Roscoe and I went out on trail with Larry walking with us. I wanted to take him down what essentially is 3 hills in a row. The first two are short in length, but steep. The last is long and winding, but gradual. I questioned whether it was the day to attempt it when Roscoe about fell over as I reached down to get my stirrup. Then he proceeded to walk calmly around the arena while Larry through the frisbee for Shadow. Ok, the boy was ready. He was so excited to go out on trail, he forgot to apply the brakes. After a reminder he started to contain himself. On the way to the hills, he walked over a baby coop and log piles. At the first hill, he got quick. I circled him and went down again. I kept my hands level, applying half halts. Finally he sat down and got off his forehand. Just in time too. The big hill presented a new distraction. Peggy had this hill graded out of the side of a steep down hill to make it usable. This left a ledge of dirt and roots on one side and a drop off on the other. Roscoe decided he was not walking near those weird roots. I had fun keeping him away from the drop off. Once down he had to come back up. I could feel Roscoe start out pulling up the hill. Then he figured out that engaging his butt and pushing was easier. I love seeing all his learning moments and breakthroughs.
Comrade and I went for a bareback ride at dusk. He was feeling a bit tight and wound up. I think he had a sore hind end from slipping in the mud. So I started moving his parts, shoulder in, haunches in, correct bend, counter bend. It was a battle since he felt he should be eating with everyone else and the boogie monsters in the woods might eat him. Gradually he started loosening up. I was so glad we ended with him trotting on a circle keeping contact on a longer rein. Plus his neck had that great floppy crest.

Finally came the Grey Boys:

So far they only had one ride. It was a ride to remember for me. Peggy rode DaVinci and I rode Winston. We started in the arena to make sure Winston was ready for a trail ride. He really wanted to trot and trot big. I had to breath and let him be. There were no scary vibes and I had to trust him. Peggy led the way onto the trail. She went on a lesser used one with a lot of brush. Winston was a star. He followed right behind DaVinci and had no problems with the footing or brush. We even walked over logs. He was happy and I was not nervous. That was amazing. These rides will go so far helping him gain back the muscle he has lost over the last year.

And that is our Rides by Color. I love our herd. It has it's own balance. 2 greys, 2 bays, 2 chestnuts and 1 lone black. Even the breeds are balanced 2 arab crosses, 2 TB crosses and 3 Cobs.

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