Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Riding Outside

The outdoor arenas were finally dry enough to use today. I saddled up Cuna, mounted in the barn aisle from my tack trunk, rode down the the arena, made two laps at a walk, and realized that I had zero ambition to do anything that could be done in an arena.

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.

Peppermints please.

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.


  1. Sometimes, all anyone really needs is a nice, well trained, trusted horse to remind us that yes, there are horses out there that are pretty darn near perfect. I'm so glad you're happy with Cuna - you deserve it!

  2. Your story and my past year are in such parallel. I will never again own a horse that isn't as matched as my current gelding and I are (previous horse was a sensitive, though well-schooled mare but needed a seasoned rider). I've made so much progress and learned to trust with my guy and we're just approaching a year of ownership (June!). It's crazy that 98% of my rides on him feel perfect and safe. Whereas with the mare, it was like 10%. SO MUCH JOY from my boy - he turns 14 on Friday :D

  3. So happy for you! I know exactly how you feel because the way you feel about Cuna is exactly how I feel about Charlie. And then I start to feel bad when all I do is talk about how wonderful he is but you know what - he is and I think we should be ok with that. We know exactly what we have and appreciate it that much more. Enjoy your pony - that's why we have them! :-)

  4. I Loooooove reading this!

  5. Fun horses are just plain fun. Everyone deserves a fun horse, safe horse.

  6. Go Cuna. Making you smile seems to be his goal :)

  7. Love the new banner and seeing you looking so happy. And wish you were at our barn the past few days of my mane pulling hell!

  8. Awesome!! Sounds like the perfect ride. I'm glad you found Cuna. :D


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