Sunday we made it to the Horsepark! Aruba wasn't too sure about everything and she could hear other horses in the barns and other arena, but we couldn't see them from the public use arena area. She hauled like a champ and was well behaved as I tacked her up. She was on alert, but well behaved for the most part.
I was running a tad behind because I had forgotten a bucket for water and my
step stool to mount with. Had I used the western tack, I might have done
without, but the bucket for a drink was needed as it was pretty warm and late
in the day. I tacked her up with the dressage saddle, grabbed my gear, put it
by the gate and went back for her and my lunge line.
Aruba was on high alert for most of the day. She lunged at the walk and
trot/jog while looking around for other horses or a reason/excuse to stop. She
wasn't too fond of the small building with generators inside of it or the bit
of trash strewn from the tipped over garbage can at the other end of the arena,
but on the lunge line she got to see they were there, not moving or going to
bother her and we worked both directions as she started to settle down and be
at ease with things.
I put her bridle on, gloves, helmet, dropped my stirrups a hole, grabbed my
mounting step and prepared to get on. I wasn't sure how this would go, but I
knew what I was hoping for. As I got on, hubby mentioned her 'wary eye' that is
common in broodies. Yes she sure had that going on... She was looking for
something, anything to be concerned about, interested in or afraid of.
She did really well though and stood quietly while I mounted and found my
other stirrup. The whole time her head was up in the air like a giraffes might
be and I felt tiny up there for a change. I squeezed with my legs, tugged one
rein and asked her to walk off. I started with our usual routine of softening work.
Bend and give to the rein/bit, move the hip over and make some big circles.
Our circles weren't exactly round and it took a while before she relaxed
enough to begin to drop her head. We went both directions and started to work
our way out to the rail. Eventually we made a lap or two, near the rail, going
to the left. Going to the right, she was back to being on high alert. A bunch
of circles, gentle tugs on the reins, a touch of a spur to move the hip over
and before long she started to relax again and actually dropped her head and
walked. We made almost a lap around (I think) before another rig pulled in with
a horse and up went the head again.
I was losing her attention fast so I made a few more circles and quit there.
The other guy had unloaded his horse and was headed over to the hitching rail
when I had gotten off and was removing the bridle. Hubby grabbed my gear and
had thrown it in the truck, while I haltered Aruba and we made our exit.
Everything had gone well enough for our first ride at another facility.
While neither ride over the weekend had been great or even a solid 'Good'
from start to finish, they were both good enough and ended on a positive note.
That's how it goes with horses. You might get a good ride here and there, a
great one once in a while and a bunch of mediocrity in between along the way,
but as you keep building up the training, working on improving, things come
together and it gets better and better as you go along. It's a learning process
for both of us, that's for sure.
***I am still trying to get the rest of the photos from last Saturdays ride
and figure out how to get Blogger to post them.***