Thursday, October 6, 2016

Saddle Up

I missed this view so much <3
Quest and I ride again!

Autumn brings the best riding weather but also the curse of shorter daylight hours. I arrived at the barn on Monday night to rapidly fading daylight. Since we pasture board, our tack up area is in the pasture itself which has limited/no lighting. A bit of hustling was needed to get tack out and fortunately I had organized my stuff the day before (in daylight) so it wasn’t hard figuring out a working system again.

Quest was hanging out with Harley by the hay feeders next to the gate so it was quick easy grooming and tacking up. Despite my mad awesome speed tacking skills, the first hours of nightfall had set in by the time I was finished- the roads were dark and the wind was gusting strong; I immediately scratched any thought of riding on the road and opted to handwalk to the indoor arena.

There were two boarders in the arena when we arrived. After introductions, I told them that we had just arrived the day before. They were very friendly and gave us the room to work on the ground. Since mareface has never been in the indoor arena before, I led her around for the first couple minutes so she could inspect and touch noses with everything. I love how curious she is and how quickly she figures things out. Some horses you look at and just know they have a fun personality.

With curiosity satiated, it was time to ride. We re-discovered what a mounting block was (Quest insisted at first that wasn’t necessary for her stand anywhere close to it), and I hopped on. Complete non-event. It was like not a day had passed since our last ride together in six months.

As tempting as it is to trot and canter, we are sticking to strict walk-only routine for this month. So we walked and walked…and walked. She got a little sticky at the beginning, one of the arena bay doors were open with stuff piled up outside, and she tried giving it a 20-foot passing berth at first. We had a talk, smart mare figured it out and it was not a problem again. We called it a day after about 15-20 minutes. I palpated her legs when I hopped off, no reaction and RF was cold and tight. It was a very good first ride back. Quest seemed happy to work a little, though just as happy to return to her boyfriend in pasture. 

Hey girl. Who's that pretty mare
Our second ride was last night. When I arrived, Quest was standing in the middle of the pasture, gave the cutest whinny and trotted over to me by the fence. I didn’t see Harley anywhere and guessed that S had pulled him out for a ride (according to his owner, he hasn’t been ridden in almost half a year so NOT seeing him in pasture is unusual).

In the past, lonely Quest means pacing Quest. While still anxious, the mareface wasn’t running the fence though (at least when I arrived). I’m really hoping she has started to figure out that being alone for a couple hours is not the end of the world. And she does have friends over the fence line to visit with, so there. Tonight Quest did want company though and she tracked my every move as I grabbed tack and grooming things. She can be rather aloof at times so seeing her stick to me like glue was a nice change.

I got her tacked up and we headed back into the indoor arena. S was there riding with Harley and talking to a girl, who introduced herself as A. I hopped on Quest and we got back to our walking. Two more people came into the arena shortly after, one of them was taking a lesson so I made sure to get in my 2ptober baseline time (2:20!) before finishing up our walk to stand and watch from the middle of the arena. The trainer J didn’t remember me from when I leased Rori and had his hands full with his student and later on helping S with Harley (he was bucking at the canter). It was interesting to watch and good for Quest’s brain to get used to working around and standing still with other horses trotting and cantering (and bucking).

Walking back to pasture in the pitch dark. Spooooky.
Thank goodness for my helmet headlamp.
All in all, two great rides so far. Back in the saddle for the first time in six months and it was a complete non-event. I never thought otherwise but there is always that 0.00001% chance. I'm so happy I got my mareface back <3

8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. There is much walking in our immediate future lol I'm very grateful for even just this though :)

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  2. That's awesome that things are going so smoothly! woohoo! :)

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    1. Thanks, fingers and toes crossed it continues to go well!

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  3. I'm so glad you are riding again!!! The walking now will pave the way for all the trotting cantering and galloping later!!

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    1. I'm so happy too!! Doing the walking rehab as humanly slow as possible is slaying me tbh lol but all the fun things will come later with time and patience

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    2. Work on dressage concepts at the walk!

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    3. Oh good suggestion Liz! I'm going to bug you for basic dressage exercises via email now haha

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