I’ve been riding a green broke half-Arab, named Roux, who I think is just awesome. Currently her owner is away at college (Hi Maggie!) and I secretly hope she leaves Roux at the barn the rest of the winter. 😉 Ok… That’s not so secret now that I wrote it.
Last night I rode Roux. At first the mare is tense and wants to jog. I was worried about her bolting so I had a shorter rein on her. I really concentrated on feeling relaxed, loosing my muscles, breathing deeply and evenly while we walked. After a couple minutes, Roux settled down really nicely.
We then proceeded to trot, which is kind of awkward on this mare. She’s so green she just doesn’t know… When you initially ask for the trot she gives one big strike off, then comes to a grinding halt, then jumps forward again. It is impossible to look graceful during all this. And even once the trot gets going, randomly she’ll have such a loss of momentum that it tosses you forward. It’s like going from 60 mph to 10 mph in the blink of an eye.
So, we’re trotting, and I’m trying to just establish some kind of rhythm in the trot. I’ve got a fist full of mane to help with my balance, and i’m trying to keep a light, but steady contact with her mouth. At one point, I feel the mare grab the bit and start to bunch up like she’s going to bolt. Obviously my first reaction is pull. She pulls harder, speeds up. I’m starting to freak out. Horse is starting to freak out. And then it struck me. What if I just relax? So I did. I posted really slow, loosened my death grip on the reins, and let the breath I was holding out. It worked! It totally worked!! Horse came right back, matched my posting, and let go of the bit. It was awesome!
We played with regulating her tempo with my posting for a while and then quit for the night. All the while I’m counting out loud “Oooonnnneee, Twwwoooo, Oooonnnneee, twwwwooooo.”
I felt stupid. But eh, it worked.
What a fun horse to ride! It reminds me of Vic when he was a green bean.