Today was our first solo ride on the roads for the year! Other than the really obnoxious balking he did really well. He started out balking because he didn't know why Rocky wasn't coming. Once he got to the neighbor's driveway he got over it and started walking out. Then we rode by the neighbor horses and he started balking again. He walks fast toward other horses and balks while walking away from them. It is so annoying!! I'm going to have to start carrying a whip again. He gets over this eventually. Or he did last year anyway.
We went a total of one and a half miles. He ignored the neighbor horses across the road. He stared at the neighbor horses down the road (the ones where they freaked out on their first road ride when Rocky went with us and we had to get off) and didn't even act up when they cantered up to the fence and then followed us. As we got close to our turn around spot on the hill he realized there are new horses he's never seen and he sped up his walk (which is so annoying when he'd been balking.... grr...). He was listening and only walking until one neighed. Then he tried to jump into a trot, but listened when I told him to walk. He neighed at them twice.... also annoying. He's never really been a talker to other horses and I liked that. I think a lot of the issues were just because it's been so long since we've gone out solo. He was getting wound up so I just turned around and headed home. We will face the new horses again another day. So that's two roads with new horses.... that leaves only one road without new horses.... I swear there are horses every quarter mile in our neighborhood. I counted them once and there were over 25 in a less than four mile area... now there's more! Yet NO ONE RIDES!!! What the heck?? Well B across the road rides obviously, but no one else does...
Hubby snapped a couple of pictures before we headed off down the road.
He looks butt high, but he's not. It's the road.
A further out shot to show the pretty greenery.
Closer up. He's so awkward lol.
His stifle was catching a lot today which made me sad. It was only doing it when he stood still and then walked forward. It didn't happen while we were out on our ride. To be on the safe side I didn't trot him at all. I have to be consistent with walking him everyday even when I don't ride because the daily exercise I really think is what made the difference.
Also I decided to measure him because it's been a long time. He is 15 hands, two inches and 5/16ths of an inch! So he grew 5/16ths of an inch. :) That's after a fresh trim too. Obviously that's just his withers. A horse's withers are the last bones to finish growing, so that's why they can add height as late as seven.
During the ride, to keep from getting bored, I was working on my posture. I just left the reins laying on his neck almost the whole time (well I did when he wasn't trying to turn around while balking). I realized that when I'm focusing on keeping my heels down and my shoulders back I over arch my back and freeze my hips.... oops!! So I was focusing on correct legs and shoulders, while also tucking my pelvis and letting my hips move with his motion. Oh and I did a really good job of not looking down! All the practice I've been doing off the horse with that has definitely helped (I've been working on not staring down while walking because of the slipped disc in my neck which is doing great by the way! No nerve pain at all anymore!). It was all hard work and my abs were burning by the time I got off. I'm so out of shape and I've been using my over arched back as a way of not using my abs... oops.
Now that I have this new job I'm really, really, really hoping we can fix the trailer and I can start taking lessons again, so I'm going to keep working on my posture a lot, that way we can focus on him in the lessons and not all of my bad habits haha. Maybe I'll have hubby get a video of me riding sometime to show the difference of when I'm arching my back and when I'm not. I would also like to see what I'm feeling if that makes sense.
Anyway I'll quit rambling. I hope you guys are having great spring weather with lots of riding!