On Wednesday, I had my third, walking ride on Reason.
My first lesson was that I should not turn away a ride, just because Reason gets excited or frisky due to surrounding events. I’ve been going off a “feel good” or “not so good,” system of determining if Reason is up for a ride. Part of me doesn’t want to get dumped but the other part is clearly aware how sensitive his young little mind is. I have to take my time and he has to want to be there, to make a ride positive and therefore worth it.
On Wednesday, it was looking 50/50 when I took Reason down, bridle and helmet in tow, to the indoor arena. The air was crisp, just enough so that you could either have a nice ride or a rodeo. One of those days. The horses next door were playing off and on, the horse I was sharing the arena with at the time, was frisky, the cows were grazing close by. Reason hopped about, trying to focus on the scary, weird, cows and at the same time listen to the horse that was having a ball just behind.
Reason was less worried about the cows, more relaxed this time around. But, due to everything that was going on, I wasn’t sure if he’d want to be or be focused on what his rider was doing.
As the moments passed, I was reminded about something. If Ink was ever unsure, scared or nervous, I felt much more comfortable to navigate him, on his back. He liked having me up there and he liked when we’d move forward through problems or challenges, whatever they may have been. I’m not sure why this is. Maybe because when he raced, it was a chance to run into comfort, freedom, whereas at the barn, he couldn’t get away? I don’t know?
I had a light-bulb moment. Each ride I’ve had on Reason, despite only being two solo ones, I already knew he followed along those same lines. A rider on the back was good. This meant that he would be asked to do something and he liked being asked.
I got on, minutes later, to find myself on top of a horse who asked me to be there and who truly was ready for whatever may come, with me above. Relaxed and less worried about whatever was around us. What a good feeling that was and is! My horse wants to be there, as much as I do. That is surely a GREAT start.
I got a good, forward walk. Reason is already responding to basic seat aids. His steering is already better, brakes are getting better. He’s moving away from leg aids so well. I’m so impressed and excited!
Walking is so much fun! I never thought I’d say that. But it is and by just focusing on walking, I think we can do a lot. Next ride, I’m adding the saddle to the mix.