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)


Anonymous said…
Do what you can do, and what he can do, and leave the rest for later! Reduces stress every time!
juliette said…
You probably think you are moving backwards, or at least, not forward at all by walking out in the fields on the days you are exhausted, but secretly you are probably making huge gains. That sounds crazy, but clearing your head with your boy Rogo does wonders for your bond. Later, when you ask him to try something new, he will surprise you! I know that sounds like a fortune from a cookie, but I believe it!
allhorsestuff said…
Just lovely, Rogo no doubt, does reflect your energies...but give your self a break...he'll be ready to give, when you have the focus/ energy.

I've learned to determine the ride, in the moment I am about to. Of course I have goals... The night before, laying on bed...I'm feeling it, then,on the drive there.
Yet, It can change really fast, like the weather,with a mare!

I cracked up...with your comment "what a shocker" on learning to ride in changing /different environments...all in good time.

Glad that you enjoyed your THAT is something you both feel!
Jeni said…
Did you know a 20 meter circle is still 20 meters no matter where you do it! *smiles* . Take your mental break by riding your young boy around a field. You end up with smiles and so does he.

You can work on half halts walking in a field. All your looking for is a response to your queue. You can ask him to leg yield to either side. You will also find that without a rail always on his outside he'll hold himself together better for you.

Enjoy those field walks / hacking out with friends. That's what makes this whole partnership such a superior adventure.
Carol said…
LOL The 20 m circles aren't a problem, it's the spacing of serpentines and loops, that I want to divide evenly into the space available :)!
It's pretty much unanimous - I should enjoy taking it easy with some walks in the field, while working in a few things that fit - leg yield, half halt, etc. Thanks everyone for the feedback.
Jan said…
Carol, bless your heart- you are so funny sometimes! I think sometimes our horses have off days, and sometimes we have off days, and sometimes they don't happen on the same day! But we can be so hard on ourselves, too. I am so glad you can see through all of that and just feel the happiness that you get from your great horse, Rogo! He feels it, too!