There was no way I was going to miss the third 50 deg day in a row, especially with super cold temperatures predicted for the week. I went to the barn yesterday with high expectations of a good ride in the sun.
I bring PJ in from his field and put him on the crossties. He was very…busy. More so than normal: looking around, biting the crosstie, etc. Even Maryann remarked that, “he looks really big today.” Yeah, I noticed. This is how he acted before that trail ride I had to get off. It was a nice day, g-damit, I WAS going to ride out in the field, so out we went.
We didn’t even make it to the field before he spooked. Okay, no biggy. We get to the nice cleared spot and I start to do serpentines – walk down the hill, trot up. It didn’t quite work out that way. Every car that went by, his head flew into the air. When I went to make that first turn, he shook his head and ran through my outside rein. When I tried to stop his from running through my outside rein, he did that not-so-nice lightening in front that was a precursor to a rear. I pushed him forward but he wouldn’t settle.
After trying three loops, I changed tactics. I rode him into the part of the field that hadn’t been cleared in a while. The grass wasn’t all that thick but it was up to his chest. I figured that would make him work more. I walked him down half-way to the end of the ridge, and trotted him through the tall grass and up a grade. We walked back down – I tried trotting once but because it was downhill and he wasn’t paying any attention, he dropped on his front end, which encouraged him to act up more. Walking down the ridge and trotting up was the best way to keep him under control. We must have done this 20 times. He was breathing heavy but no less hyper – the trot up the hill was amazing, but scary at the same time because I barely had control. I finally gave up and got off because he was starting to curl his neck and I wanted to give him a break but I didn’t trust him on a loose rein. I walked him back to the barn, but I wasn’t done.
I walked right past the barn and went down to the bottom outdoor ring and worked him some more. Of course, once in the ring, he was a slug – a slug who still wasn’t playing attention to the flea on his back (me). I worked him until he gave me a good half-halt and go forward. I’m sure he’s exhausted today, so he’s getting the day off. All of the horses were up. They probably thought it was spring. Well, that’s changing today! I can hear the wind whipping outside and the sun isn’t even up. I can’t wait for the real spring.