Wednesday, February 5, 2014

First solo ride!

The snow and ice is doing a number here in New Jersey this week- I feel rather lucky that I managed to get out to the barn last night for my first solo practice ride with Rori. It was cold but not frigid (around mid 30s) making for decent indoor riding temperatures. My plan was to take things slow and mostly observe how Rori behaved with me without Christy around. Things started off without a hitch- I caught her in pasture, groomed and tacked up and we headed out to the indoor which was located a ways down the road from the barn. Despite the cold, I was still able to enjoy how beautiful and quiet the surrounding night was- it was just simply blissful. I live in a more populous area so being out in the “rural” parts of suburbia is always a treat for me. When we got within eyeshot of the arena, I noticed that the main entry door was closed. I looked around for a handle, door latch or something but instead found a keypad and realized with a slightly sinking feeling that I was never given the access code. I had my phone on me though and texted Christy for the code.

While I waited to hear back from her, I searched around to see if I could open the door from any other means.  It was getting colder for both Rori and me- I didn’t want to spend too much more time outside. There was a wood ramp that led up into a door way that looked promising but it was designed for human-use only. Making sure I tied Rori up securely, I ventured inside and quickly located the lights but still no switch for the arena door. I glanced out the window to make sure Rori wasn’t getting into trouble and found her amusing herself by nosing off all the snow on the ramp’s handrails. I didn’t want to leave her outside by herself for much longer though so I took one last look before heading back out.  When I opened the door, I found Rori halfway up the wooden snow-covered ramp at the end of her lead- apparently she tried to follow me inside, probably wondering where I had disappeared off to and leaving her behind! I couldn’t help but laugh as I backed her up off of the ramp, feeling oddly touched by her behavior. This mare is really quite something.

We did finally get the code and had great first ride working on the basics: transitions, walk, trot, and bending in both directions. I managed to get some video of the ride with my GoPro which I’ll post later…when I figure out how to convert the files and compress it into something more manageable for uploading.

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