I've been wanting to get out for a sunset ride lately, and thought I'd make it these evening but we ended up going out for pizza with our guests so I only had about 30 minutes of daylight left when we got home. I was *steaming* mad because the little foster urchins at the charming new horse rescue next door threw rocks at our truck when we drove by on the way home, and almost hit my husband. He yelled at the kids which got an adult's attention and they got warned but WTH. Like really?
So I needed to breathe. Goosefraba, as Jack Nicholson would say. I put Joey's halter on Desire since it has rings, snapped on some reins and took her down to the arena for a little bareback cruise. She was pretty fired up and I turned her loose to have a good go around the arena in the nice newly rototilled footing (quite nice, but deep! have to get everyone used to it slowly). I let her blow off some steam then took her to the mounting block, and was irritated as usual at the slight fear that squirmed in my stomach at the thought of getting on bareback. Ever since my accident 2 1/2 yrs ago, mounting in new situations (hadn't ridden her bareback in probably 8 months and never in just halter) or on new horses, I get a little thrill of fear. But on I hopped and she stood like a rock for it.
She was pretty tense at first going around the arena perimeter and kept eyeballing and avoiding our blue barrel that was in a new spot over in the corner instead of in the middle. Oy, those sensitive Arabs! After a few circles and direction changes, all at the walk, things were calming, her head was getting lower and I was feeling comfortable. As the light dimmed we opened and closed the gate with decent sidepassing and trotted up the little hill to the house. She relaxed in the driveway with the guys and appreciated some head rubs, and we both took a breath.
I think it was good for both of us. She gets pulled and goes straight out for mileage most of the time and can use the relaxation; I certainly felt calmer, especially seeing and feeling her relax in the driveway and get her head scratched.
Oh yeah, and on her back I could almost dunk!