July 4th – Chillin’ at the Barn

I had left a message for M while waiting for the Clarion shuttle to pick us up at the airport and take us back to my car.  It figures that the second thing I thought of after getting home was riding.  The first was Dean and Buu, but neither of them decided it was worth the effort to answer the phone, either.

It turned out that M was going to be at the barn in the morning, though D would not be there.  She told me to come out if I wanted, which of course I did. When I arrived, Rachel and Laurie were busy preparing the horses.  I was going to drive Sammy, and then ride Blondie.

After they had Sammy hitched to the buggy, I hopped in.  At first he wouldn't go on, and I don't know if I was holding him back too much or what, but he was soon walking forward.  Then M had us trot, and had me work on getting him set in his bridle.  Then she told me to trot figure 8's and do shallow serpentines along the rail, so I would feel more comfortable driving. 

I am amazed at how quickly I have changed my opinion of driving.  At first, I liked to drive, but I was so worried about falling out of the buggy that I didn't really enjoy it.  Now I'm totally over that, and I think it is so much fun!  It's really challenging to keep the horse's head set and to keep them straight on the rail when you can't use your legs.  I think that driving has really improved my riding, too, because it is helping me learn how to use the reins.

After putting Sammy away, it was time for a spin on Blondie.  The ride went really well.  I was able to keep her in her bridle most of the time, though her head wasn't cranked back as far as it can go.  At first she seemed a little rough, but I think it's because I haven't ridden her in a while.  I quickly became reacquainted with her gaits, and we were trotting and cantering around the arena.  I still need to learn how to get her to engage her hind end better, but I was really pleased with the progress that I have made with her head set.  It wasn't a constant struggle between us, with her diving her head.

Laurie is going to the Morgan show next week, so I was bummed to learn that after Monday, there won't be any lessons until the following week.  It's supposed to be in the 90's, so I guess I shouldn't be totally upset.

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