Sunday, January 4, 2015

Good start

Bed gravity was unusually strong the Friday morning after New Year's Day and unfortunately the lethargic-ness followed me through the whole day at work so my plan for that night was to trim/touch up as needed and do a bareback ride session to work on my balance at the canter since I've been feeling a bit off-center lately.

After the usual free lunge warm up, we tacked up with the home-made bareback pad and got to work starting with walk/trot working up to canter. Quest was a superstar and gave me the best western jog ever so that I could really focus on my balance without feeling like I was about to break in half afterwards. I have mild scoliosis- it doesn't bother me for the most part but it does get rather painful when the weather gets humid (and keeps me from ever living in places like Florida). My back used to get sore when I first started riding but as I've gotten more proficient at using my core muscles, I've been pretty much pain-free for the most part.

After doing a ton of trotting we moved into cantering, first on my better side then switched to my weaker side for the majority of the workout. This session was the second time that I ever cantered bareback so I worked on moving with the initial beats when sitting the canter since I often bump around for a couple steps bareback until I catch the familiar rocking motion. My typically very opinionated and fussy mare who has a certain time-limit tolerance for arena work was remarkably patient with letting me figure things out as we did what felt like a million circles in the indoor section of the arena. I did finally get the hang of  it and ended the night being able to canter bareback with one hand on the reins AND on my bad side, yay.

The next day, A and Smokey decided to visit us from the main barn so we could all ride together. We were due to get some snow later on in the morning so we opted to stay indoors and do a group bareback arena ride.
All together! Caly, Quest, Nutmeg, and between ears Smokey
I was half-expecting Quest to get super testy about doing two arena days in a row but she was just fine. She continued to give me world's best western jog and we cantered a bit as well. I also got a chance hop on my friend M's horse Calypso, a spicy 16hh TB chestnut mare. Caly is known around the barn for her grumpy faces when people and horses walk by her stall and mare-ish tendencies. She was a delight to ride bareback though and didn't put a foot wrong. Her trot was huge with lots of movement- I didn't want to tempt fate cantering bareback on a strange-to-me horse either so we stuck with just a walk and trot. M rode in a drill team during college so Quest was in good hands and plus it was fun for me to watch someone else on my mare. It started to snow soon after we swapped horses and started accumulating pretty quick so we all called it a day and parted ways. I went home, showered, and curled up under blankets streaming TV shows and baked Chinese sweet breads. A decent start to 2015 I'd say.


  1. sounds like a fun outing!! i always want to try the horse swap thing with friends, but for some reason it never happens...

    1. I'm usually the one that initiates horse swaps lol though at my discretion since the end goal is giving Quest a positive experience with different riders

  2. Sounds fun! I love the name "Nutmeg" for a horse. So cute! :-)