09.06.03: Ride On

I didn't have much time, but thankfully the weather held for me to get Storm out and ride on Wednesday. I had to go get him out of the back of the pasture where he was enjoying the deep grass. I brought him up and groomed him up quickly, though I can't quite figure out how he could still be shedding this much after being in Florida for three weeks of early spring.
I got him all ready to go and headed down into the round pen for a bit of warm up within the gaits. He started out pretty steady, but spun around and took off after a short time. The large puddle of water was still in the round pen, and he was moving much more consistently through it, though much of the gaits at the beginning were with more anxiety.
He finally began to slow down, after he was very spattered with mud, of course. Eventually I felt that he was settled enough to begin trying to ride, and we left the round pen and headed into the arena to put on the bridle and get saddled up. I was pleased that he offered the saddle the first time I asked him to step past me. Though when I mounted he wanted to move off immediately, and I had to ask him pretty forcefully to stop and stand. He tried to press his chest into the corner of the arena, and so once he paused for a moment, I allowed him to move off for a while. I began working with the bending again, asking him to push his ribs over, and trying to concentrate on using my leg effectively. I worked in a figure 8 pattern the length of the arena, turning left after coming around once, and then down the middle and turning right the next time down the arena. We worked for a long time at the walk, and I finally decided to spend some time trotting. I intended to only spend short periods of time trotting, but once we started to trot I found a bit of rhythm and was able to work for a while. He was doing well stretching at the trot, and he settled down a lot into the work and began to really respond to me asking him to push his ball over. I am going to have to be sure that I am asking him to really push the ball over vs only stretching his neck out, and I am sure that KN can give me some more advice on that when she is back in two weeks.
We worked at the trot for a long time and he was really putting some good effort into stretching down. I began to try to ask him to bring his ball forward and balance front to back in addition to finding left and right. I am not sure that he is fully pushing his ball over, but he is making a good effort at stretching, which is positive. Holly was really complementary of how he was looking, we were all so busy in the clinic with our own horses that no one got a chance to watch anyone else.
We walked out for a little while, still asking his ball to move over. He was very calm when we finally finished up and I slid off. I walked him back up to the barn and pulled of his tack and hosed him off a bit to get the sweat off. I took him back to the arena, but he wasn't interested in rolling, so I hope he doesn't end up rolling in the mud later. With the rain coming in over the next few days I don't expect to get another ride in until the weekend. We'll see anyway.
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09.06.07: Listing to Port
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