So we left. There is a section of trail that gradually slopes up an incline for about half a mile and is sandy enough to ride on even when it's wet out. We headed up there at a trot.
Cuna was pretty hilarious about the whole thing--on Monday when we did pictures, I'd canter him up to Ellie and then stop. Clearly, he thought we were doing pictures again, because he stopped where Ellie was standing, and then about every ten yards after that. It wasn't naughty. It was more like he was trying to out think me. I kicked on and rode him to the top of the dry-ish section.
We turned around, walked down, and then trotted up again. Clearly, Cuna now understood the drill. His ears went forward and his energy level went up. We charged up the hill. I let him stretch his neck out and work through his back while I focused on staying balanced over him without resting my hands on his neck.
The walk down was doing a good job of letting Cuna catch his breathe, but he was pretty hot and sweaty. I haven't done really any hill work with him because he was always just going to be here for a few weeks and I didn't see the point. Not so anymore.
Then we cantered up. THIS IS AWESOME. The old man totally knew what was going on at this point. He picked up a big, forward canter, pricked his ears up, and just rolled on up the hill. He was in the zone. Racehorse-turned-event-horse brain was activated.
It came to an end all too soon. He was a little foamy and I needed to get back to work.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but Cuna is just so much fun for me--I am getting to do all kinds of things I couldn't do before. I mean yeah, he isn't a dressage horse and so arena flatwork is not that exciting. On the other hand, he is a pro over fences, on the trail, and running around. I don't have to worry about what he's going to do and his silliness just makes me laugh instead of scaring me.