Well, I can now trail ride up & down the road from home. That's one decent milestone. But, I couldn't end my weekend of taking chances there. Oh No!
I chunked my plans for a haircut today, and decided even though it needed done, I needed some down time at home. And, no, that wasn't a day of sitting stationary. I had to get my ride in first.
A little after noon, I grabbed Ransom. I spent extra time grooming, primping, and pampering. He was yawing at me, obviously enjoying himself. Saddled dressage, he wasn't real pleased when I led him to the arena. Poor guy, he really wanted more of that light-duty trail walking thing.
I lunged him for a warmup, and then I set up a few ground poles. On a 20m circle (or so), I set up a pole every 90degrees. Sort of a cross pattern. I lunged him at the trot over the pole pattern until I had it just the right size to keep him over them, and still on the circle. Afterwards, before I bitted him and hopped on, I walked the steps off in the middle of the poles, and found them to all be 6.5 steps away from each other. Neat! An even circle!
I rode walk and trot over the poles in the circle. I snuck in some spiral in and outs, too. A circle outside the poles, then over on the far side, over in the middle, over on the near side, big circle inside the poles, little circle inside the poles, and reverse back out. I found Ransom's bending to be quite nice on the spirals, both directions.
So, I want to be on TV. I want to jump my horse. Geez, I hadn't cantered over even a ground pole. Time to start, huh?
I had one pole on the near circle, far edge of it. I rode the circle, cantered around the outside of the pole, and then decided to just go for it! What's the worst that'd happen, yeah?
I was right! Cool! Ransom canters over the ground pole, but not by accident. He lifts his front end up just a little, totally aware the pole is there. If it's too far away, he'll stretch a stride out to cover it. If it's close, he'll make a short stride. He also adjusted a few times a stride or two in front of it, making a nice even stride over it. We did this both leads a few times each. A pretty neat feeling.
Then I dumped the stirrups again for some work outside of the pole pattern on sitting to rising trot. I'm still having sit trot with stirrup problems. Without them, we're going along pretty good. With 'em, yeah, not so much. Things to work on.
When we got done with the arena work, I gathered up all his stuff, opened the gate, and hand walked him up to the barn. There, I flipped another bucket upside down, dropped all our extras, and took my hot, huffing & puffing pony, down the road. We went the same distance as Thursday, but without the yapping dogs. I walked him back home, halted him at the house, where he was still hot, huffin, and puffin.
So up the road a ways. Again, no car chasing doggies barking at us. We didn't get quite as far up the road, when I halted him, stood a second to check his breathing, and he turned back towards home. Hoping he was cooling down, I let him take me home, "on the buckle". I realized part way through the walk out I was indeed "on the buckle". A warm glowing satisfactory moment, seeing Ransom on that long of a rein, almost on contact, reaching and relaxing.
I got all his tack off, and hosed him. Clipped pony dries fast! He cooled down pretty quickly. With the warmer weather here, I was even happier I decided to clip him. With that fuzzy coat he did have, he would've gotten hotter faster, and been even rougher to cool out. Glad I clipped!
Total work today? About an hour, including the walk outs.
Tomorrow? Well, if we get "babysitting company", maybe we'll set that jump back up, and maybe I'll work up the nerve to canter to And from. Gotta Start Somewhere!