Spring has finally arrived! Now I can only hope that it’s here to stay. It was a glorious day when I got out to the barn today. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and it was warm enough to ditch the jacket and just ride in a sweatshirt. I had a nice surprise when I headed out to the paddock to get Luc. He actually took his head out of the feeder, looked at me, nickered and walked over. He then followed me all the way to the gate without a halter. I don’t think he’s ever nickered when he’s seen me in the field before.
After tacking up Luc and I headed outside. Our first ride outdoors in ages! It felt great. Right up until I realized I’d left my crop back in the barn. I guess I had been hoping since we were outside, and it was nice out, Luc would be interested in going forward. I was wrong. Really wrong. Instead, he made me work for every single step. Any time my leg weakened, he would break gait. About ten minutes into the ride and I was completely pooped. Luc on the other hand hadn’t even broken a sweat. Not a single drop.
I continued to cluck and kick and plead with him to move forward. It didn’t matter what gait we were in. It was a struggle. At one point I even found myself praying that his field mates, who had been running around when I first arrived, would start galloping and playing next to the ring. No luck. The only thing that seemed to interest Luc at all was my sister. Every time we would ride near her, he would slow down and try to stop.
After several sad attempts at gaining any kind of forward momentum I gave up and decided to do some no stirrups work. At least I didn’t have to worry about being bounced out of the tack since Luc was so slow it was like we weren’t really moving at all.
I walked and trotted without stirrups before asking for the canter. Colour me surprised when all of a sudden I had a horse under me instead of a snail. Apparently my losing my stirrups is the signal to go forward. Unfortunately, while Luc suddenly seemed full of energy, my well was completely empty. I couldn’t even muster enough strength to take advantage of it.
I cantered a bit in each direction, did a touch of extended trot (with stirrups) and called it a day. I got not one, not two, but three nickers when I got off. Apparently Luc enjoys not actually having to work.
If I’m lucky enough to get to ride outside again next week, I’m really going to have to remember the go stick. Aren’t horses supposed to be fresh in the spring?