Thursday, March 16, 2023

First Ride!

The weather has continued to be a bit garbage (minus yesterday which was beautiful but I was stuck at work late), and you all know me, I am NOT a patient person. Besides wanting to take the new mare for a spin, I also need to keep Ruby legged up since I sent in entries for our first recognized show of the season the first weekend in April! 

Dat ass 😍

The barn I used to board Ruby at a mile down the road has an indoor, but they also have a massive lesson program and are pretty constantly busy, so I always feel bad about trying to haul down there. Buuuut, desperate times and all that. I pinged my friend and found out the arena would be empty Monday evening after 6, so I decided to haul down there! Between my grant week, the saddle fitter, and my lesson Sunday (ope still gotta write about that!), Ruby has been out A LOT lately, so I figured it was as good a time as any to swing a leg over her mom! 

Complete rock star. Can definitely see where Ruby gets her generally unflappable demeanor from! 

I was prepared for just about anything - she was in regular training with a dressage rider last year, but she's had a few months of light riding/occasional trail riding. Last Wednesday and Thursday she spent the entire day on a trailer. Since arriving at my house Thursday night, she's had exclusively hand walking and a few limited hours of turnout each day due to the weather. We've turned her entire life and schedule completely upside down and I would not have been shocked at all if she had been UP or reactive. But she was amazing. Came off the trailer, calmly stood with DH to get tacked (didn't want to tie in a strange place until I tried at home first to make sure that's solid), and strutted into the indoor like she owned the place. 

I did toss her on the lunge for a minute just to be safe - she doesn't completely respond to my usual lunge cues (whether that was excitement or that she generally just didn't know them, I'll find out at some point), a but aside from one pretty impressive slam on the brakes/spin to canter the other way, she was very well behaved. So I didn't feel bad about swinging a leg over! 

I had very low expectations and just mostly wanted to give her a chance to stretch her legs, but I did also push some buttons to see how responsive she is - and the answer is VERY! 

She definitely has the same hang up as Ruby in terms of preferring to go sideways or forward but absolutely not both 🤣

I ended on a good note and didn't ask her to canter - I'd rather end a ride wanting more rather than ask too much and regret it! Plus she's not the fittest right now, and the purpose of this trip was just leg stretching, so we headed home and she got stuffed full of cookies!