While I still try to figure things out with Foster (we’ve got a wait-and-see timeframe of about a month), I’ve been wondering what I can do to stay motivated. It’s been hard not to get sour doing lap after lap around the covered, so, why not try something new?
Unless you count younger days lounging aboard my pony in the paddock, riding without [horsey] headgear is something I’ve never done. So, I read all of one google article on getting started, and decided Foster was a great candidate to try- he knows vocal cues (albeit on the lunge line), responds to leg pressure and seat, and is just generally a good guy.
I started out with a bridle on and the reins knotted high up on his neck. At first I was relying more on the neck strap (a crusty old stirrup leather in need of conditioning) than on my leg pressure, and while we had ‘whoa’ and ‘go’ ok, turning was a bit tricky. But we quickly figured it out and soon we were navigating the arena with ease.
So, you, know, why not take things to the next level. I turned on the camera again, and asked Foster to turn his head so I could slip off his bridle. I then chucked the bridle in the corner, and had our first go at for-realz bridleless riding. The trot and canter actually were surprisingly more easy to control for me, so I played around with walk-canter, and turn on the forehand for giggles.
Obviously, as you can hear from my constant nattering to Foster, we had a blast. This was just the ride I needed after a day in the doldrums- doing something new and exciting and proving once again how awesome the spotted pony really is!