Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Solstice & Christmas Eve Rides

I had one one last chance to ride Halo before leaving town for Louisiana last week. It was solstice, and it seemed to get dark before I even left my house to go to the barn. The moon was low in the sky and bright orange!

Here is Halo in the dark, begging for treats at the tie rail. I just got the box in the mail this week with the brand new pad and girth for her, so I'll be trying those out later this week.

Her expression here says it all. "Mooooooom, stop taking stupid pictures!" I wanted to get a good conformation shot, but she wasn't very keen on standing square while I took pictures. Her condition is looking good to me if a little on the tubby side. I'm especially happy with how her neck is looking, given that when I got her everyone said she had a horrible ewe neck. I didn't have the greatest ride on her this night, but it wasn't awful either. Just a day where she was a little more hyped than usual, and a little less focused.

The ride was a good reminder that Halo is a horse who needs an active rider. I probably had my brain halfway on vacation, and she knew it. Yes, some days are easier than others, but for the most part since she is green, I need to be paying attention. One of my riding instructors used to tell me to imagine that riding the horse was like channeling water. You have to hold the channel together to direct the water, and if you don't, the water starts splashing out all over the place and you lose impulsion and/or direction. Halo reminds me of that often.

While I was out of town, I had the opportunity to ride in Louisiana. I got to ride a big palomino paint named Shadow. He had one blue eye and one blue/brown eye.

We rode out in some of the farm fields neighboring the land where the horses are kept. I think the men I was riding with thought I was a little nuts for taking pictures, but this isn't really something you see near Austin. The fields seemed to go on forever! The fields we ride in out behind the barn in Austin are hillier, and most just grow hay.

Here's me and Shadow alongside a ditch. We rode for a couple of hours around the edges of the fields, mostly just walking. I have to say, I loved the saddle I rode in, which surprised me. It was a saddle made in Monroe, Louisiana, not too far from where we were riding. I hope I have the opportunity to ride again next time we visit!

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