Over the weekend, I just wanted quiet, soft rides. DT had me ride him much more up than I have in the past, which is totally where he needs to go. However, since Penn is young and green, riding like that all the time is not something I can do to him, and I forgot that I need to find a happy medium. Not every day can be up and working day, but nor should every day be long and low.
Our ride Saturday focused a bit more on a longer frame and lower poll. I tried to make sure his poll didn't drop too much, but I wanted him to find his confidence again. We had a lovely quiet and calm ride where I got to touch on everything from training level and leg yields.
|Relaxed after a good ride.
Penn got fussed over for the rest of the day- I pulled his mane and the farrier reset him. After all that, I braided his mane back over to the right (I let it out for a couple days and his hood pulled it back to the left). They're loose braids and just a couple crossovers because I don't want to damage his mane, but I do want to teach it to stay over! I think it'll be braided for the rest of winter while he wears his hood.
Sunday we rode outside because it was gorgeous and sunny and almost 60 degrees. It was super windy, so Penn wore the ridiculous orange ear bonnet. Last time I rode him outside, the wind was blowing his forelock around and it ended up in his ears and he really did not like that at all. When the first gust of wind blew in his face, I think he was expecting to have his forelock in his ears, but once he realized it wasn't, he happily trucked along, NBD. I think the ear bonnets help to muffle the wind too (as well as other sound). So, I guess Penn will be wearing Mikey's blue ear bonnet for horse shows.
|Ridiculous braids and ear bonnet.
I think I only worked him for 15-20 min Sunday. He was really soft and responsive, and he did everything I wanted fairly well. His right lead canter is really coming along as the better lead- I am still pushing him up and forward in the canter because that gait needs the most work, but it doesn't seem to phase him the way the work in the walk and trot does. His leg yields were good too- they tend to be more bracing and quick and not sideways outside.
Part of the reason I didn't work him all that long was because I wanted to make sure we got to go for a walk in the woods. It's good for everyone's brain! There's a wee 15 min loop that goes out the back of the ring, out past the pastures (and past the scary smelly pigs!), then loops through a gentle trail through the woods (you can still see the barn and the horses in the fields), comes out on a gas well road, and then you ride a short distance on the actual road and back in the front driveway.
|Looking through the trees at the horses turned out.
Penn went on his first solo trail ride! I tried to find someone to go with me, but while there were people out riding, none were interested in a short hack. I'm not about to do away with downtime (or seeing something besides an indoor arena), so we went anyway.
|Happy to go for a walk.
He was really super- he was brave past the pigs, held his ground when a herd of deer went charging through the woods, didn't balk at walking through mud and ponding water, and walked on a loose rein. I don't trust him to walk on the buckle yet, but he'll get there!
|Proof that he foamed! He foamed all weekend, yay! He also grunged up his bit, haha.
A goal for the fair weather riding months is to work in the outdoor in the evenings and weekends, and go for this walking loop whenever we're done to relax. Eventually I'll branch out to a bigger loop, but for now this one is fine!