Rogo's First Ride Out at Cheryl's
I thought I would be too tired to ride when I was on my way home from Lunenburg Wed. evening, but it was sunny and beautiful for the first time in days (weeks?) and I just couldn't resist. I knew I'd arrive at feeding time, but thought I could just clean tack and kill time until Rogo was fed and digested :), but it turned out that Karen and Elaine, two other boarders had arrived just before me to ride and feeding was going to be at the far side of the suppertime feeding window. Yeah!
Karen was there for the second time that day to ride, and guess how old her horse is? He's 30, or will be in the next few months! He's amazing and I'm soon going to get some pictures and video and devote a post to him. Of course she doesn't ride him hard, but he has lots of get up and go.
I hadn't ridden Rogo with them before, so it was fun. They warmed up in the field while I warmed up in the ring, and then we all walked around the field adjacent to the outdoor ring at the end of our ride. This made Rogo very excited and happy! He was perfect, but what a bounce he had in his step.
In the ring Rogo continued his performance from the last ride, although perhaps a little better. As I mentioned, because of rain we'd been riding mostly inside since getting back to Cheryl's and when I took him outside this week his performance lost most of the gains I felt we'd made this fall :( His attention just isn't there. He isn't spooky or even very looky, he's just not mentally focused on his work and doesn't respond well to my aids. I can't blame him for all of this either. I'm realizing that because the distances are different in the patterns I ride for our warm up routines and training I'm not riding and giving aids as clearly and definitely. So, big surprise, I also need to learn to perform in different environments. What a shocker.
I'm also convinced my tiredness (I mentioned my work is crazy busy this week) affects this, maybe more than I realize. Although being outside has energized him, I'm bone weary tired when I ride and I sense that this is draining to him. He'll start off sparkly and forward and then quickly kind of deflates. He probably feels like he's carrying a dead old sack of potatoes around and how much fun can that be? Having said that, I realize it's going on and don't ask for a lot, and the riding is good for my soul. Walking around the pasture on him in the fall evening sunshine was just what I needed. I came home exhausted but my head was clear and I was happy, happy, happy.I have a lesson tomorrow morning. That should be interesting. We're getting heavy rains and high winds (gusting to 110 kms Doug said). Moms' screen door blew off today. Rogo is amazingly steady in this environment, but it's really hard to hear Cheryl in that kind of wind, let alone with rain beating on the metal roof. I'll keep you posted :)
Things I want to remember from this ride:
- I also need to learn to ride in different spaces, of different sizes
- my tiredness affects Rogo's energy level; don't try for much more than getting out and spending time together
- keep practicing the half halts (and working on canter departs when my energy returns)