Hi all! I hope you all are ready for the new year! I’m so excited to see what this year holds. Unfortunately, I’m starting the year so far behind on blogs. Some BRILLIANT INDIVIDUAL (insert heavy sarcasm) thought that the end of the year would be the best place to release a new version of my company’s software. So we’ve been running around tails on fire for a few weeks. The date got pushed back to the middle of this month so a few more weeks of running around like that equals no time for reading blogs. (I’m sure I’m not the only one who reads blogs primarily at work)
Even with work being busy, I’ve made sure I had at least some time for seeing Scarlet. I actually got a decent amount of riding in between Xmas and the new year. We rode Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday last week.
Tuesday and Thursday were typical night rides. I wasn’t focused on doing much more than getting him out, moving, and stretching. We did do a few serpentines, some sitting trot and a bit of two point for me.
Friday, I was able to get out of work early and ended up going around the main trail with Holly, who I’ve been riding with at my barn. She is about my age and has a one-eyed thoroughbred called Uno. We’ve been riding together semi-frequently and it’s been nice to have someone to chat with on occasion.
We warmed up in the arena first. It’s always better that way for Scarlet because it gets most of his wiggles out first. Then we headed out. Scarlet was not chill with the idea of heading away from the barn but he somewhat followed along with Uno. Uno, for a thoroughbred, walks super slow. We ended up walking next to or ahead of him the whole time. Only once did Scarlet try to bolt back to the barn. That was partially my fault. He and Uno had stopped to stare back at the barn and I was hoping that if I just let him chill for a moment, he’d take a deep breath. Instead, per normal Scarlet tendencies, giving him time to process caused him to really realize we were far away. Instead of bolting across the field toward the barn, he wanted to bolt back down the trail the way we came. Odd but better than across the field. I got him under control after a few steps and turned him back around. We did the loop twice, which meant we were out for about 30 minutes. It was really awesome to do something different. I’m hoping to get Scarlet out on the trails a lot more come daylight time so that we can eventually do the small loop on our own as a cooldown. Big goals but we will see.
Saturday I went out to ride before heading off for my new year’s plans. We jumped a bit. We messed up the striding coming into a line and ended up having half a stride left before the jump so he launched himself over. Almost lost my stirrups there but I held on. It was a good jump from him, just way further away than we needed to be. I held him back the next time and we got the striding better. Silly horse gets excited and rushes the jumps. We couldn’t jump more after that as a walk trot lesson was being given in the corner of the arena and none of the lines were far enough away that I felt I could jump more safely.
I also got out on the 2nd and Scarlet forgot his brain for the first ride of the year. When I told my husband that, he asked: “Doesn’t forgetting his brain require him to have one first?” He knows my horse so well. XD
He was very looky this ride and I had to circle circle circle to get his attention on me. Bending was near impossible at the beginning of the ride. Everything was hard and why did I want him to actually carry his back instead of allowing him to lean against my hands? Half-halt? Oh you mean slow down and fling my head in the air? It was frustrating but not because he was deliberately being bad, but because everything took much longer to get done than it should have.
I wanted to round out the night by hopping over a small crossrail a couple of times at the trot, just to get a bit of fun in the ride. We turned and he saw a man walk out of the light of the arena into the darkness. He got so wound up about that that I received my first refusal everywhere. It went like this:
Turn the corner, point at the tiny maybe 1′ crossrail at the trot
Scarlet: What was that over there?! OMG HE DISAPPEARED! HE IS GOING TO GET ME!
Me: Focus boy, forward.
Scarlet: Mom! HE IS GOING TO EAT ME!!
Me: Scarlet the jump…
Scarlet: What jump?! OMG THIS JUMP???????!!!! *Stops and lowers his head to snort at the jump* Where the hell did this come from?!
Me: Sighs and backs him up to give me room to boot forward and over.
We then had a discussion on where his attention was and I finished the ride. Could have been better, could have been worse. I have a horse that is very easily spooked and distracted by things outside the arena. I know this and deal with it daily. But it would have been nice to have a more fun ride to start off the new year. Here is hoping that he is better this time.