Thursday, October 17, 2013

more good rides

Since last week when I finally got over the hurdle of not having ridden since May, Keil Bay and I have been on the every other day schedule for the most part. Some of the "other days" were not able to be managed due to rain and at least one due to over-seeding winter rye, which Keil Bay felt was fairly important.

Each ride has been good and I've discovered, as I suspected I would, that my twinging hip is eons better on the days I ride and things get stretched out.

Yesterday I forgot to do my own stretching before I hopped on, and Keil Bay's warming up time felt a little funky to me. I think my tight hip was creating a big block in his movement, but he pushed on and I did some leg exercises in the saddle to get things unstuck a bit on my end. Keil reminded me that shoulder-in helps him stretch out, so we added that in both directions.

I asked him to walk forward but for the most part allowed him to go where he wanted to. Yesterday he chose to hug the arena rail, going deep into each corner. Interesting note: the day before I had raked and cleaned the arena of huge batches of fallen oak leaves, so the corners were actually visible!

Three times he stopped at the exact same place, close to Salina's grave, and not only did he stop, but cocked his hind hoof as if to say: let's just be here for a while. He's never stopped that way before, and since he did it at the same place, not directly in front of Salina's grave but at a point where he could gaze at it, it felt like he was wanting to spend some time with her.

All through the ride he was quite alert but not spooky in any way, as though there was something there he was paying attention to but I couldn't quite see. At one point the donkeys climbed through the arena fence and joined us, so maybe Salina was there, eating some acorns and enjoying the fall day.

Once we started trotting everything seemed to fade away except for the movement. We trotted the arena and also 20m circles. Near the end of the ride Keil Bay offered a gorgeous sequence of trot - perfect for sitting and powerful but so perfectly contained that it felt like we were in slow motion. We ended on that, and I walked with him back to the barn feeling so grateful I got to ride that trot again. There is nothing else in the world quite so beautiful as Keil Bay's perfect trot.


Grey Horse Matters said...

It sounds like a lovely ride with a perfect trot to end with. I'm sure there are many more to come. Enjoy this gorgeous weather!

billie said...

A, we are having lots of gray days but mostly without rain - really nice to ride in and enjoy the colors starting to change. Hope all is well with you and the herd up north!!

Matthew C. said...

It looked like a lovely ride yesterday!