All the no-stirrup work recently has re-inspired me to work on getting her more comfortable with bareback riding. Couple weeks ago I hopped on after a lunge session just to see- while Quest wasn’t rude, she was wary so I stayed on until she showed the slightest bit of relaxation, hopped off and gave lots of praise. T is letting me try out her bareback pad this week, so super excited to see if it works out for us.
We had gorgeous weather again on Saturday, beginning to feel quite spoiled. When I got to the barn as per usual, I lunged her first before tacking up. The plan was to ride in the indoor for a little bit and then head out for trails. I mounted up, asked her to move out and Quest started wiggling all over the place- nothing dangerous but I never felt her SO worked up before and questioning every request. After double/triple checking that her feistiness wasn’t anything tack or rider related, we settled to do a bit of walk and trot. Only when I felt her giving me her full attention that we headed out. On the trail she was great and even did some leading too.
After the trails, I wanted to see if Quest’s wiggling stemmed from doing arena work or needing a change of scenery. I decided to test the latter so we went into the full outdoor arena to see if it helped. Quest settled right down to work for the whole 30 minutes, listening and compliant. I also got a nice lower leg and core workout doing a ton of 2-point at the trot. That plus all the no-stirrup I did the night before did my balance a ton of good but left me feeling pretty wiped out.
So yeah, pretty sure Quest HATES working in the arena if we are inside two days in a row, but a change of scenery/being outdoors seems to improves her attitude. This is extremely telling and I’m taking this information to heart so I don’t find myself with a very arena-sour horse by the end of the winter. My current ride schedule has been 3-4 days a week with a day in between rides- it has been working out great and she’s always been eager to work every time.