Monday, January 3, 2011

First Ride of the Year

The first two days of the year, the weather was entirely too cold and windy to ride - even Sugar's owner, who is our most intrepid rider, didn't ride.  That worked out OK for me, because I came down with some sort of bug on New Year's day.  I hadn't been feeling quite right for a few days - low energy and a tad more achy than normal, and in the afternoon on New Year's I came down with a fever and chills.  Fortunately, that was mostly over with by the next morning, but then yesterday I napped for a good part of the day.  Today I'm still a bit tired and have a sore throat, but nothing too bad.  The weather finally improved enough that a ride was possible - the temperature made it up almost to freezing and the wind wasn't too bad.  There's only one day in the upcoming weather forecasts that looks even possible for riding, so I took what I could get and got myself up off the couch and went to the barn.

Pie (and the other geldings) came to greet me at the gate (he also whinnied to me this morning before sunrise as I walked to the barn to feed - I was a good 100 yards away and just called his name and he whinnied back - very sweet although perhaps he was just hungry).  We groomed and saddled up and went on a short solo trail ride.  He was alert but very well-behaved.  We couldn't trot much, as the trails are like concrete and there are only certain places where a grassy edge was available.

On our way back, he stopped, as he often does, to look at the lake in the distance.  I'm not sure why he likes to do this - he is calm but clearly fascinated by it, or perhaps the activities - people walking, cars - on the other side.  He often stands there for several minutes just looking.  I wish I knew what he was feeling and thinking - he radiates calm and peaceful attentiveness.

When we got back to the barn, we worked in the grassy area for a while - the footing is pretty good right now, although a bit hard.  We worked again on our softening work at the walk - he hadn't forgotten a thing from our first work session and he quickly was giving me 3 soft steps at the walk.  Then we did some trotting on a loose rein, working on forward and straight and changes of direction.  Unlike a lot of young horses, he's not very wiggly.  I worked on keeping my eyes up and using only as much leg (just a whisper) as was needed to help with forward and direction changes.  His trot was very nice today - forward and regular but not at all rushed.  At the very end, I asked for canter and he instantly gave me a lovely canter - on the correct lead.  We didn't canter long today, but I can already tell his gaits are going to just get better and better.

I felt a lot better when I got back from my ride than I did when I left the house to go to the barn, and I'm very glad I went! A good start to 2011!


  1. That sounds like so much fun! Pie must like the activity at the lake, always somthing different going on.

  2. Sounds like a great ride! I'm glad he is doing so well. You really did choose well when you chose Pie!

    I haven't ridden in a while, either, because it's been so cold here -- enough to be too cold even with an indoor arena!

  3. I'm glad you got the chance to ride. It's still too frozen here and I'm suffering serious withdrawal. Even Legs is crabby about not working. The temps are supposed to be coming up so maybe we'll get back to work soon.

    Hope you're done with that bug. I hear it's hanging on a while for some.

  4. Kate, Glad you are feeling better. Your ride with Pie sounds great - what a smart horse he is! Congratulations on a nice canter especially. How interesting that he likes to look at the lake- maybe it reminds him of a lake or something similar from his first home. What a sweet boy!

  5. What a great start to the year. So good that it made you feel better.
    I'm glad you included the part about Pie liking to look at the lake. I swear my Appaloosa Dan enjoys the sunset over the water at the beach. He stops and stares when we reach a particularly scenic point on a beach ride and I always let him - why shouldn't he enjoy it too. Also I see him standing at the edge of the pasture staring out over the beach. Your the first person I've noticed who mentions a horse liking a view.
    Anyway, I'm so glad you found the perfect horse for you in 2010. He sounds absolutely wonderful, especially given his young age. I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures together in 2011.

  6. I haven't ridden in ages due to a lack of time. I love how you describe Pie looking at the lake. You need to get a picture of that!

  7. He is doing so much better at solo rides - your consistency is really paying off!

    I wonder if the lake reminds him of anything from his old days...

  8. I love the water too... I knew I liked Pie!! :)

    I'm glad you and Pie had a nice ride. Sounds like a great way to start the year.

  9. Pie gazing at the lake reminds me of the times that Apache and would come to an opening in the trees looking out across expansive views of prairie for miles. I first thought she would stop and gaze at the view because she knew I was prepping to take a photo, but I think that was only part of it. I think she really liked the view, too. :)

    I hope you continue to feel better from your cold. :)


  10. Sounds like he's talking to you now--that's a sure sign of bonding, hungry or not. The horses I ride or work with in our herd, "my horses", do the same for me, the others do not, even though I feed them.

    Sounds like an awesome day with Pie.

  11. It sounds to me like Pie is, and always will be, your dream horse! Good luck to you both in 2011!!

  12. Glad you got a ride in , hope you are feeling better

  13. The say, "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man." Sounds as if Pie was the perfect cure for what ails you. There seem to be a lot of little virus things going around this winter...

    The lake fascination is one more sign of Pie's intelligence. He is a keen observer of the world and probably inventing all kinds of stories in his head about the activities on the lake. It's his form of "horse TV."

    Wishing you some more good weather so you can more rides in on your boy.

  14. Sorry you were feeling icky, but so glad the ride helped you recover. Rides have a way of doing that! What a ride you had too. I love that image of Pie relaxed and looking out at the lake. I am sure he was calmly breathing and blinking occasionally, ah...that is what it is all about! And, then such a nice wtc - all calm and relaxed. Super start to the year.

  15. What's up with everybody getting sick for New Years? I didn't party too hard*, and I seriously doubt you did either. Glad you're much improved and you got a ride in.

    *ok, I didn't party at all and didn't even stay up til midnight.


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