Yesterday I rode King for a couple of hours in the afternoon. It was a lovely spring day… sunny and warm. The footing is firming up on the trails, and we were able to move out in some sections. King was very relaxed, and we even cantered on a loose rein, which is something I don’t think I’ve EVER done on him before.
Of course, the relaxed canter likely has something to do with the recent change in bitting. I borrowed a Myler combo bit from Misha. It’s a sort of combination of a bit and a hackamore. The mouthpiece is quite mild, but the hackamore noseband seems to have been a revelation to King. Initially I tried it with the reins snapped to the top ring of the shanks, which gives no leverage on the noseband. But I’ve since dropped it right to the bottom ring. Since then, King is being very circumspect about speed.
I hate to rely on equipment more than training. But really, it’s good to stay alive and aboard. King has speed on the brain and he’s very strong. Once you add the increasing fitness to the attitude, he’s sometimes just more horse than I care to ride. It’s really lovely to be completely under control for a change.
After we got back, Misha arrived to ride her horse. She begged me to ride with her. Since I’d ridden King already, that meant Dressy. I was tired and very hungry, so I told her that she was going to tack up the mare for me while I grabbed something to eat. So when I came back out, my girl was ready to go.
REALLY ready to go as it turned out. She was very snorty when I first got on, and we did some zigging and zagging while she spooked at Misha’s car, a rock, the cell phone tower, and rustling leaves. But she was very willing to go, and trotted right out as soon as I allowed her to. I forget sometimes just how much fun that horse is to ride. With a beginner, she’s quiet and steady. But with me, she’s fast and forward and competitive. Diego, Misha’s horse, is not used to Dressy’s trail trot. No Arab can trot with her when she gets in gear. And Diego was not at all happy about it. He sulked way behind. To the point that Misha got a bit concerned that something was wrong. But whenever we put Dressy behind, he perked right up. Then of course he’d trot slow, and Dressy would lose patience and we’d cruise past again.
Dressy had a grand time, trotting up a storm. It makes me laugh when she’s like that.