Rode Romeo Sunday morning. It was so incredibly hot Saturday, I decided not worth the stress on either of us. Sunday morning was really no different, 80s, with ultra-high humidity. Romeo and I worked through some tempered fits of his - he wanted to be chasey, and after a dozen one-rein stops just made it worse, I let him. A few wild laps around the arena, he decided that wasn't fun, and I pushed him through two more. Then, amazingly, his speed was quite controlled. Little Man must learn, going too fast only yields more going too fast, until tired, then Momma pushes more & more & more. I could see Chewie's eyes, watching us just outside the arena, "Dude... she's gonna get after you if you don't quit... Dude.. I'm telling you... you better ease up.... Oh man, you're gonna Geeeeeet it .... I'm saying... seriously.... Oh boy, here it comes. I'm going back to the barn, good luck Dude. you're gonna need it..."
After all the fix-its were done, and the roofing complete, Les gathered Mare Sugar, and I jumped on. She tolerated many laps of canter in the round pen, somewhat annoyed with my skills. Her first 9-10 lope strides were choppy at best, I'm fairly certain she was trying to buck her toosh, and get rid of me, or at least make me nervous. Surprisingly, I wasn't scared, wasn't shook up. I grabbed my saddle horn, and pushed her, inside leg. Her tail swished, she fussed a storm, then quickly went into a faster, smoother canter. I was impressed with this new-found confidence, unshaken by her attitude. If Chewie had done that, I don't know that I'd be so calm. I'm pretty proud of myself. We cantered both directions, she even counter-cantered one time, and I wasn't paying attention. Les corrected us, and I was able to tilt her head just to the outside when I asked again. That's another big one - being able to control any part of the horse in the transition. I'm making progress. We finished up walking & trotting in a plot of pasture, Sugar acting like she'd done it a zillion times, alert to the cows outside the fence, and the tractor off in the distance. It was a wide-open feeling, where she could calmly see everything. I got to focus on staying calm in that wide open field, knowing she was taking care of me. This is the same mare I've seen rear up in the roping box, go bonkers for no reason on a trail ride, and show Cowboy Les how to still ride a bucking bronc, yet she took incredible care of me, only tossing herself around a bit. Had she gone bucking goofy, I would have bailed for sure, so I'm thankful for that.
Switched horses to my secret-love-affair with Blue. His "whoa" left a little to be desired, me hanging on the bit, hollering, "Whoaaaaaa", him cantering on. Les crawled on him, and reminded Blue that "whoa" means something. I got back on, asked for a canter, went about a circle & half, and said "Whoa" with some deep voiced authority. Blue stopped so quick, and on his rear end, I popped up out of the saddle, giggling. That's what I call brakes. Cantered again, two big circles, asked for whoa, got it agreeably, and called it a day.
Good rides, good lesson horses, and patient given my learning.
4-days until vacation... 4-days,... four more working days until vacation.. mumble mumble repeat.