After a two week hiatus from riding (other than the few bareback sessions) I broke down and called my trainer to see if I could come and borrow her indoor. She is 50 miles from my house so it isn't something I can do every day. But I had a lesson scheduled so I was planning on making the drive anyway but didn't want to waste a lesson since I hadn't ridden any since our last. This is all thanks to the weather here in Colorado, lately if there isn't snow on the ground there's mud or its completely frozen, all of which Dexter slips and slides around on,
So we loaded up and headed out. It was nice, I wasn't rushed to get there any particular time and could ride as long as I wanted. We started in the indoor. He was high energy from having time off but still did well. he always does well in the indoor, less distractions. Then as he started to sweat I decided to see what it was like in the outdoor. We walked outside it it was a nice cool day (yes 34 is now considered cool) and the footing in the outdoor was surprisingly dry so we rode out there. I like riding outside because he has a good winter coat and the cool air and wind keeps him from sweating.
He was really frisky outside despite the 30-45 minutes we had already ridden. But someone had left some trot poles out so we went over those to get his attention back. He only stumbled through them once, otherwise he did pretty well. Some ponies came out to join us in the outdoor and the new friends was too much for Dexter to handle, he had to crane his neck every time we walked by.
He was doing fairly well so I decided what the heck lets go to the dressage arena and practice a quick test before we are done. Dexter had other plans, he behaved OK, other than doing his best giraffe impression as we walked over (I was leading him, we had never been to the dressage arena and I knew he was fresh so I took the safe route). I led him around the arena and saw there was still some snow down by C so that in combination with him looking around and in general tense all over, I decided against a test in the dressage ring.
So we went back into the indoor, no worries we had all the time in the world. As we got on a boarder joined us. I was just going to do a quick test and get out of her hair. I hate getting in the way of the boarders (which rarely happens since my lessons are usually so early on a Sunday morning), because they are paying to use the arena while I'm just there borrowing it. Anyways, she was just walking around so I practiced training level test 1 (kinda, while avoiding the other rider). And he did really really well, other than protesting and resisting the trot to canter transitions with little hops (he was convinced he was done at this point as I had already made him think we were done twice by getting off to go to the other arenas). He did much better than the last time we ran through a test.
As we finished I saw the boarder I was sharing the ring with was getting off. Apparently Dexter's big canter was making her horse nervous, oops. I told her we were done and she could get back on and she did. I also made sure she knew she could always tell me if we were causing problems. I didn't have to canter if it was stressing her horse out, or I could have waited until she was done. After I left and was untacking Dexter I saw my trainer bringing a pretty spirited horse into the indoor to lunge, the boarder promptly exited, oh well. I've had to do the same thing, sometimes it just isn't in the cards.
Now that I know Dexter can (almost) do all the movements I'm more excited about showing. My only concern now is his nervousness about new places. It seems to be all about the weather and his mood. The first time I brought him to my trainer's place he looked around a bit but got right to work.
All in all it was a great Sunday. I got to ride and try some new things. We cantered a lot, something I was afraid and he was too unfit to do 6 months ago. And we successfully finished a test, with no flip outs from either of us. We rode for about an hour and a half (with lots of breaks) and man am I sore!
I know in general this was a boring post. But we had such a good time and it was great to get in a good solid ride, I wanted to share. It was a great start to my week. I only wish we lived closer to the facilities so I could ride like that all the time.