I finally have an arena!! Okay it's just rock filled buckets out in my pasture, but still it's really exciting. We measured out a 20x40 meter arena (getting it square is a pain!) and we used five gallon buckets full of rocks to mark the corners and midway points down the long side.
The buckets were the only thing I could think of that would withstand the shenanigans of Chrome and Zep. They destroy anything left in the pasture. We will see how long this lasts. I hope if they do knock one over that they don't move it too far. It really was a pain to measure this thing out. Eventually we're going to use cinder blocks and poles to build the corners, but our cinder blocks are being used for something else right now so it will do.
Chrome did fantastic for our first workout in the arena! I only rode thirty minutes because he did such a good job. He did step "outside" the arena a few times and he obviously is still learning about corners and circles, but I'm really impressed with the progress we made. The weird thing is that being in an "arena" brought all of my lessons back to my mind. I sat up, looked up (when I remembered) and used my head and shoulders to lead him where I wanted to go. He was following my body cues way better than I ever realized he did. Now he just needs to learn to follow the legs too. There were points where he had a decent tempo and I was actually able to think about my own position (look up, shoulders back, hands up and together, elbows bent and legs... well they are hopeless). I realized watching the video that I'm either gripping with my knee or posting off my stirrups and that's on reason my leg is swinging so bad. I think once his tempo improves and my strength improves that it will get better. :)
Here is the video. It's kind of long and probably boring, but I really enjoyed watching it. I wish my riding were better, but it will improve now that we have a way to practice.
Hubby even pointed out that Chrome has a relaxed, swishy tail most of the time. He only flicked it around a couple of times. I did notice that the halter slides over into his eye though! Oops! I can't wait for my new bit to get here next week. I think the halter in the eye and the wind blowing is why he had his ears back so much. That wind was insane!! It finally knocked the cell phone over, but I only rode for about three more minutes and then called it quits because he was such a good boy. He was sweaty too. Can you believe it's almost December and I'm riding in a tank top?? Gotta love our bipolar weather. Actually I do love it when it's like this, but I'm not ready for it to go back to being cold again.
After I first mounted up, on the way to the back pasture Chrome was being VERY balky, so hubby got me a stick to use as a riding crop. When he reached out to give it to me, Chrome took it instead.
I took his word for it and let him drop it on the ground. I didn't need it for the ride, so Chrome was right. Such a good boy.
See his cute little relaxed tail flip?
Here are some riding pictures my hubby took (he set up his cell phone for the video and used my point and shoot camera for pictures, he's awesome!) for those of you who don't want to watch the video since watching other people ride can be boring. :)
You can kind of see the slope of the land in these two pictures.
Still can't trot a straight line hehe.
I changed a lot to black and white because it was a bad time of day for pictures.
I'm so excited about my arena. I think we are going to make a lot of progress as long as it stays dry. It gets really slick back there so come January we might be back on the roads again until summer. :)
Here are some more pictures from the day.
I normally hate selfies, but this was too cute not to share.
Also handsome.. and blendy!
Messed around with some photo editing... kind of weird but cool.
My whole herd!
Chrome playing with the neighbor cow.
Zep was braying in this picture. Wish I'd had a video!!
LOVE this face!!!!
Some goating... er horsing around. :)
I love spending gorgeous days out with my herd and my Jackal pup. :D
P.S. I almost forgot. Here is a video of me trotting Chrome (he felt like he was short striding, but he wasn't) and we accidentally cantered. It was the best canter ever and our first canter out in the back of the pasture ever. Good boy!!