Friday, March 23, 2012

Ups and Downs

Today was a two horse day for me, and there was one so so ride and one fantastic one.  Oddly enough, it was Owen who gave me the "enh" ride and Fat Cressie who was wonderful.

It's monstrously hot and humid, and it turns out that Sis let the horses stay out all night so Owen was practically walking in his sleep when I mounted up.  I read some advice in DT about schooling changes on an uphill slope to facilitate the horse keeping his hocks under him, so I found a nice gentle rise to work on.  After some basic circle work we cantered up the little hill to work on the tempis.  As usual, a change or two is all it takes to get Owen tense and excited so he was snorting like a freight train as we worked.  We were able to get about five changes on the line, I'm not sure what the count was between them.  If his back was tight I did not ask for one until he relaxed.  The changes were clean and uphill...but since we were cantering uphill how could they not be?!  The good thing was that if he was tense I just half halted and for the most part he relaxed within one or two strides.

But still I was disappointed when we returned to the barn.

I had a few minutes to spare once Owen was put away (with his entire head wrapped in mesh to ward off the bugs...he looks rather odd.) and my sister had asked if I could school Cressie a bit.  I wasn't enthusiastic.  In fact, it often takes a very strong mental push to get me up on a second horse, especially if my first ride was less than stellar.  But I threw the tack on Fat Cressie and hopped on anyway.  Despite some half hearted attempts on her part to shy every time a bird flew over we had a wonderful school.  We did some basic walk trot and canter work on the 20 meter circle, and she picked up her leads on the first try and stayed on the bit with good contact the entire time.  She really is a lovely mover and I had a wonderful time and rode back to the barn in very high spirits.

Who'd 'a' thought that just riding a few training level movements would give me such satisfaction.  Perhaps I've become so obsessed with riding the tempis that I'm losing sight of why I enjoy riding in the first place.  Maybe I'll even show Fat Cressie some this year, but I don't know if I have a side saddle that will fit her.

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