Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Riders Up!

"Three and a half days is long enough, right?" This is what I kept thinking to myself on Saturday, the fourth(ish) day of Salem-ness. I had been itching to jump on his back and take him for a spin ever since he had arrived. However, I do tend to err on the side of caution (well, okay, maybe paranoia would be a more appropriate word) and I wanted to make sure that I didn't push him, especially given the afore-mentioned ball-busting heat. Saturday, my patience meter hit Maximum and I could resist no longer.

A big part of the reason that I decided to make it The Day was because a fellow boarder, Gigi, was tacking up her mare Bonnie for a ride. Gigi is an absolute pleasure to ride with/chat with/drink wine with and I knew that her little Paint mare Bonnie would be a calming presence for Salem should he need it. It was like Bonnie was Salem's track pony and Gigi was my track pony. It was the perfect scenario.

Me on Salem & Gigi on Bonnie

Of course, Mr. Salem was a perfect gentleman and I would bet money that he would have been just as well-mannered if we had ridden on our own, but it's always more fun to ride with others. It was still blisteringly hot, so I kept it short and just did a lot of walking and trotting, worked on circles and figure-8s, and called it a day. We walked all around the perimeter of the arena on a loose rein, with Gigi and Bonnie by our sides, and had a nice, relaxing end to the ride. Salem did not spook once -- he didn't even take a sideways glance at the Scary Sand Pile in the corner. (Have I mentioned how unflappable this guy is?!)

Scary Sand Pile

Sunday, Salem got away with a short longeing session (again because of the ridiculous Gobi desert heat) and a nice refreshing bubble/liniment bath. The horse is such a riot -- he absolutely loves drinking from the hose and would most likely stand there all day having you squirt water into his mouth if you let him. No worries of dehydration with this guy! But, just in case (see, I told you I am an overly-cautious worry wart!), I put a packet of Horse Quencher in one of his water buckets. He loved it! Within a few minutes, he had sucked down all of the water and was licking the dregs at the bottom.

Monday, it was back to work. Again, we were joined by Gigi and Bonnie, and this time we had an official photographer, Jennie. (Sidebar - the above pic was from Monday, as well. I didn't have a photographer on Saturday)

Either my helmet is tipped back or I'm stargazing (let's just go with the helmet thing)

Let me say, Salem and I both have a lot of work to do! My equitation is severely lacking -- I haven't ridden much lately, plus my old instructor always put me on "problem" horses, so everything was all about the horse. I never got much eq. work. But, I digress. This time, we still kept the session short, but also cantered both directions. Salem was awesome! He even picked up his right lead (his sticky side) perfectly the first time.

Gah! Horrid equitation!

He had one tiny spook, but it was at the end of the ride, when we were strolling around the perimeter. We were right by the road and a huge truck came zooming by and made this really bizarre, scary sound. Salem did a tiny bunny hop and then went back to his normal Mr. Chillaxed attitude.

I like the reeeeeaaallly far-away shots...my eq. doesn't look as bad!

I really do think that Salem enjoys working and having a "job" to do, whether that job is in-hand work, longeing, or being ridden. He craves attention and just gobbles it up like it's candy. And the guy is a sweetie and has such a great attitude. He has obviously had wonderful treatment for his whole life because he loves people.

All tucked in for the night and munching on carrots

Yup, I think Salem has officially settled in and decided that he likes his new home. Can't say that I blame him. ;-)


molly said...

Ok, so now I need a horse JUST like this. Want to start looking? Salem sounds amazing, and I can't blame him for loving his new home. I would too!

Frizzle said...

Hahaha, Molly -- yup, this guy is a gem. You don't often find a super-quet, Steady Eddie TB with tons of bone and huge feet (that don't even require shoes!). He's definitely an anomaly!

eventer79 said...

Woohoo! Yeah for good rides. And dang, your sidebars disappeared again. Methinks they are possessed...

Frizzle said...

I concur! Demon sidebars! What the heck do I do???