The Icing

Last Saturday was a really mild day for this time of year. It was in the mid 40s, sunny and no wind. Perfect weather to spend time at the barn.

As I stated in the last post, it’s been a while since I’ve spent any quality time with Charm.. over 2 weeks. That happens pretty often this time of year. Life gets busy, it’s dark and cold.

I found myself particularly relaxed that day. I did not have an agenda.. I had over 3 hours to do whatever Charm wanted to do. I knew I wanted to ride.. the rest was up to her.

We started with Liberty and quickly found some holes that had formed over the past month or so. Mostly in zone 5. Since we’ve spent a lot of time driving, she’s thinking forward whenever I’m back there. When I’d ask her to disengage, she’d start walking forward. So I put the 12′ line back on, and did the same maneuver, but now I had a way to let her know what I wanted.

It went like this: Face me.. now swing your hindquarters toward me.. now I’m behind you.. back up with me. Continue to swing your hindquarters away from me.. now we’re facing each other again… then the other way.

We had some flow going with this, but she seemed to get confused when I’d ask the HQ to move away… I didn’t want her front feet to move. She thought I wanted her to move forward.

Anyway, after about 5 minutes we got that working really well and she was doing it flawlessly at Liberty. We did everything slow and right.. she and I licked and chewed a ton.

It was so nice.

We eventually saddled up. She was really chill.

We warmed up in the arena.. my first time riding in a saddle in a few weeks. She took her leads and listened to my seat like we’ve been riding consistently. A really good sign.

I thought it would be nice to ride outside as much as we could, since after all it is practically winter. We started by cantering around and weaved the poles at a trot.. had a nice routine going. I was calm and she was listening (not something that happens that often when we canter outside). It felt great to let her extend her stride and just move out.

We trotted up the lane and way back to the east field. The prior day, I had been trotting around the edge of the field bareback.. just so she can loose some of her growing hay belly (round bales will do that). Today I wanted to do that again.. but with a saddle so she could really trot. It was great.. we went around 3 times with some walking breaks in between. It’s a pretty big field. If they weather stays nice through the next couple days, I’d like to make it more of a follow the rail, but add some teardrop reverses and circles to the pattern.. and also transitions.

Charm was pooped. We moseyed back to the barn and took it easy.

It was a productive time and relaxing too. When I left, I said to myself, if that’s our last nice outside ride of 2009.. it was the icing on the cake.

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