Friday, December 26, 2014

A Christmas Day Ride

There are a lot of days when I wish I could have Nimo at my own place (plus maybe another horse or two, and a cow, and some chickens), but yesterday was not one of those days. We finally had a break in the rain and it was 55 degrees and sunny. I put the ham in the oven for dinner and headed out to the barn for a ride. I had made an adjustment in my dressage saddle that I wanted to check out, and I couldn't resist the sun:)

So I decided to take Nimo for a 2 mile walk down the road that runs through the farm. Anything that wasn't gravel was a swamp, but the road was halfway decent, although still slick in some places. The saddle felt good, so after our walk, we headed into the arena for some more disciplined work. I especially wanted to work on leg yielding at every gait, and after a brief warm-up where Nimo tried to insist that cantering on wet sand is just too difficult and he should only have to do a little bit, we worked on leg yield exercises at the walk, trot, and canter. I was really happy that Nimo did a good job on the canter leg yield because I want to start really working on counter-canter. I introduced it a couple of weeks ago to see what would happen, and it was promising, so I want to make sure I'm strengthening his inside hind in each direction to give him better balance for the counter-canter.

Anyway, after cooling down, we walked back into the barn and one of the other boarders was there getting her horse ready for a ride. She asked if I had time to walk down the road again with her and another lady who was trying an older OTTB for a possible purchase. Apparently, despite his advancing years, he could still be a bit of a pistol, and she wanted some company while she took him outside the arena. The other boarder had volunteered to go with her but she was worried because her horse could be unpredictable, so she was looking for more reliable company - aka Nimo.

I decided I had time, so after waiting for the other two horses to be saddled (Nimo was being a good endurance horse and took the opportunity to stuff his face with hay), we all went down the road. Nimo was a little confused about going down the road again, but he settled into the ride and was completely unphased when the other boarder's horse spooked at possibly nothing and took off bucking and cantering. The OTTB also did great and he looks like he'll be a nice trail horse. Nimo led the way back to the barn and there was no more excitement from our riding buddies.

What made this ride so nice was the company. I ride by myself a lot and it was awesome to have company. I like both the ladies I rode with and we had a fun conversation. Definitely not something I would get at my own place and it was such a great way to spend a Christmas afternoon.


  1. It sounds like you had a great ride! I had my first horse on my property for a few years and you are correct, impromptu rides with others was impossible and I let that affect how often I rode. When I get my own property again (one of these days!), I hope to have a 6 or 8 stall barn and rent out the extra stalls so that I have the best of both worlds. Of course, that plan has its own drawbacks too!

    1. Your idea for taking on a few boarders, esp. if they are friends sounds like a great way to help with riding motivation! But I understand what you're saying about drawbacks too - horse people can be a little crazy:)

  2. Yeah there are a lot of benefits to having them home, but the biggest disadvantage is having no one to ride with. I'm glad you enjoyed a Christmas ride with others. :D