Interference

Last night's ride was a little weird.

I had to stay late at work and by the time I made it to the barn, the BM was finishing a lesson. I pulled the Archer from his new pasture and groomed him up.  While this is going on, BM is helping a kid tack up another horse for another lesson.  I'm to the point where I can sorta recognize the horse/rider combinations and have a general idea of if they'll be in the round pen or the ring.  I knew this girl was going to be in the ring, so I hustled so I wouldn't be in their way.  Technically, I don't think the BM would kick me out so long as I stayed out of her way, but I want to respect the fact that the kid is paying good money for her lesson time.

I warmed him up at the walk in the ring and then immediately did something that I don't think I've ever done before.  I asked for canter before trot.  And why not?

We did a lot of long/low at the canter and he actually offered the stretchiness that he'll give me sometimes in trot, where I feel him lift his back and stretch down through his neck.  I'm telling you, it felt great.

I sometimes think about how the three years at the Old Barn was exactly what I needed, mentally, to recover from all the things that happened immediately prior to moving:  the sickness, the soreness, and my own injury from falling.  Other times, I think that sequestering myself in an isolated place with no one to push me and no goals to aspire to was more destructive than beneficial.  There was absolutely no reason for me to not be able to do the things that I'm doing now, except now I'm a different rider than I was there.  I haven't put my finger on the exact change, but the symptoms of it are a stronger seat, stronger calves, a realization that I am able to discipline my mighty steed without fear of death or dismemberment, and that, goddamnit, I can canter.

So we cantered.  A lot.  And then we cantered more.

I even got a little bit of intentional counter-canter.  I had him going around the large ring, cut across almost at the diagonal, but met the rail before the turn, so it would be a smoother transition.  Counter on the left lead was super easy.  Counter on the right resulted in him doing a simple change, ears all aflutter.  Yeah, I should have caught it better.  Then there was some counter bend work.

By the time I was done with all that, and the beastie had a little sweaty neck, the BM's next lesson was ready to start.  I took the Kid over to the pasture that had previously been his and just walked some of the paths.  They were partially muddy, so I kept that in mind when I asked him to trot.  It was a good exercise in downward transitions as well as keeping his attention, as both pastures on either side of us were being fed.  After a while, though, I asked him to canter again.  Just something about cantering in a field.

My blond bay in the pasture.
Tracking left was fine, but we had some issues tracking right and I felt him get all caught up in himself.  I finished with that and we walked a few more laps around the pasture at a walk before I took him back to the barn.

:(
While I'd been tacking up and mounting, I noticed a younger woman pulling a(nother) bay TB out of Archie's pasture.  Did I mention this?  Four out of five horses are bay Thoroughbred geldings.  Dime a dozen round here.

Noms.
Anyways, there was an older man with her who appeared to be a farrier (possibly barefoot trimmer?).  They finished with her horse by the time I was done and she actually complimented me.  Hearing from y'all, that's great, but I sort of feel like we have a loose knit blogging kinship and this chick was a stranger.  So, yeah.  I was super flattered.  I chatted with her for a few minutes - got her name and the specs on her horse.  An OTTB.  :)  I've tried to find him on Pedigree Query, but there could be some variations of his spelling and I'm pretty sure he isn't a 2002 model currently in Germany.

Archie and Johnny, who might be his new bestie.
Side note:  I zapped myself about eight times on the electrical fence before I realized what was going on.  The wire that connects the latch was resting on the gate and I was holding the gate.  Derp, derp.

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12 comments

  1. Nothing like cantering in a field :)

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    1. With all this new found confidence, I want to go fox hunting! ALL THE FIELDS!

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  2. It is always nice when someone compliments you and your horse. Love the feeling :)

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    1. I mean, such a little thing that has such a huge impact. I need to be the person who does that.

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  3. Compliments make the world go round ;-)

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  4. They may be a dime a dozen, but what really is better than a bay thoroughbred? I honestly can't think of anything.

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    1. And I agree with you! I honestly didn't realize that they were so popular until I left my barn in Augusta. Archie was one of two bay TBs there, but the other was not a track-bred and was a mare.

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  5. I agree about the compliments. Nothing makes your day more than an absolute stranger telling you that you and your horse look good. And cantering is fun when it's fun, if you know what I mean. I wish we had a big open field to canter in

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    1. There was a meadow at my last barn, but I was so much more fearful there. At my barn in Augusta, we had trails, but we also had a big pond that we could canter around. I loved that.

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  6. Freaking hate hot wire, I get zapped by that shit all the time. Yeah Bays are common but they are the best :P

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    1. Gay Beldings!

      I haven't been around hotwire much (we only had one pasture with hotwire at the barn in Augusta and definitely none at CBL's) so I'm sort of a stupid newb with it. I expected a stronger zap!

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