First Ride

I said that the move wasn't going to be "A Thing."  I wasn't going to get anxious about riding in the new place and I wasn't going to let Archie be an asshole.

I'm pleased to say that we were successful on all fronts.

When I got there and changed, no one was around.  By the time I was back at my car, putting my pathetic boots and half chaps on, the BM showed up.  I asked how everything went and she said he was fine - unremarkable, which is amazing.  She also noted that he hasn't buddied up with anyone yet.  There's supposed to be a new horse coming in the next couple of days.  Maybe that guy can be his friend.

Archie is on the far right.  Little Arabian next to him.
I had no problem grabbing him (even while navigating the hot wire connection) and pulling him out with the rest of the herd politely staying back.  I tacked up (in cross ties!) and he was doing his best llama impression.  I forgot how tall this guy is.

While I was mounting, the BO came over with his son and they proceeded to mow the grass riding area.  I had brief thoughts that Arch might not like that, but I never responded as though it were A Thing.  I walked him across the path of the mower thing and into the ring, where we promptly got to work.  I did a couple laps walking in one direction, keeping him out of the rut created by other horses.  Cut across the diagonal and reverse and walk some more.  Then another cut across and asked for the trot in the corner.  We did five laps trotting in either direction, with a lap of walking between.  He wanted to get a little quick tracking right in the two corners that open to the straight, but I didn't let it be A Thing.

This happened.
And then I asked for the canter and cantered a large circle on both leads while praising the fuck out of him.

After the ride, he wanted to go back to the barn.  Instead, I turned him right and walked him around the property.  I got a little lost.  There was one place where we could have jumped a ditch, but I'm not quite ready for that.  He wasn't spooky, but I kept my calves on him and didn't give him the opportunity.  He did get pissy because it was feeding time and he could see the two mares being fed.  He didn't want to move on from that, but a swift kick was sufficient motivation.

There was black marshy gunk on the left.  
This doesn't show it properly - as soon as I rounded the corner, this was swampy.  Kid was walking in water.
Still sweaty after our walk around the property.

Loves bath time.
They'd already fed his pasturemates, so I just hand fed him.  

But I learned a lot.

Lessons from the Old Barn

  • I don't know what straight is.  Seriously.  I can ride with an inside bend around any turn, but we're like drunken sailors trying to trot the long side.
  • Conversely, I've forgotten how to ride corners.  
  • Being perpetually alone while riding both built my confidence and tore it down.  I am sufficient unto myself but I'm also a giant wimp.
  • I took for granted the perfection that is a clean, regularly dragged sand arena.  I developed a habit of staring at the ground about ten feet ahead of us because I always had to be on the look out for branches, rocks and glass.  I have to relearn how to lift my eyes.
Overall, I'm very pleased with our first ride.  I fought with my natural inclination to do as little as possible and instead wanted to achieve the most I could.  I'm planning on riding tonight and might pull out the cavalletis.  Or a jump.  Oh, the possibilities! 

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  1. Glad the first ride went so well! Sounds like you and Archie will thrive here.

  2. So glad the move and your first ride went so well! Yay Archie for being a good boy!

  3. Woohoo! This new place sounds like it has all sorts of positives! A ring is a treasure for sure!

  4. Glad your first ride was a big success!

  5. Yay! Sounds like the move is already a success.

  6. Awesome news!!! Sounds like great things are coming for you and Archie... how to get you to some horse shows! :)