Went out to the barn today. Thought about going yesterday while we had some cloud cover on these hot summer days but just didn't make it. So this morning I was feeling determined. One problem: Ellie. I waited for her to take a nap. It didn't happen until about noon! So there goes any hope of riding in cooler weather. Full sun and 89 degrees. Felt a little hotter than that!
Sinwaan heard me open the barn door and came trotting over. Slightly unusual. I think it's because Cindy has been feeding him treats in my absence so he was expecting a goodie. Too bad, he just got me. Because I rode the motorcycle out and didn't want to carry a backpack in this heat I didn't take any carrots. Poor horse.
He wasn't too dirty so grooming went quickly. I gave his bridle path a trim with scissors...horrors!
Tacked up and took a bucket out with me to use as a step-up. Sinwaan stood still as a stump. Hmmm. Well so far, so good. Confidence.
We headed down the gravel driveway and I glanced over and noticed that the surrounding fields didn't seem to be planted with anything in particular and 3/4 of them were mown. So I turned Sinwaan around and headed onto kinder footing (he's still barefoot). Almost instantly Sinwaan started to jig. He had his head up and was all out of sorts, acting like he wanted to just tear around. Yeah, this was the horse I expected last time I rode. Almost a year off is not good for anyone or anything. Although to his credit, riding in groups he is a perfect gentleman. By himself you had better be an intermediate rider. I knew this time I had my work cut out for me.
So I did my best to keep him to a walk. We turned circles. We halted. We backed up. We turned more circles. We walked laps around that field, changing direction frequently. At first I was sure this was the day I would fall off. I could envision being drug around by the stirrup as he bolted for the nearest hay pile. Withering confidence!!
Finally he settled into more of the horse I remembered from regularly being ridden. So we trotted, up and down and all around. Once when I brought him back down to a walk (headed for home) he gave a little faux buck. Bad horse! At least he is too lazy to follow through with most of his misbehaving. And I was still on. Confidence coming back...
After we finally had a solid good 10 minute jaunt I turned him back in to the barn. He's going to take some more work but at this point I don't think it's anything we can't work through. I am just going to have to get out there to ride more often. It's hard to get motivated when my only ride for the year was cancelled...
It was hot out so he got a bath and then I worked on detangling his mane. I didn't want to turn him out damp again (last tine he rolled right away) so I led him out and let him graze while he dried.
All's well that ends well, and we ended on a good note.