Monday, December 17, 2012

The Great Outdoors

Lucy's been going pretty well, but up until this weekend, we hadn't addressed the elephant in the room: the outdoor ring.

Yeah, I was a little scared. I lunged her out there a few times over the past weeks but she kept acting like a freak in the corner of the ring where the dog had spooked her. That end of the ring abuts the town forest with all of the trails, and before the dog incident it was already the "bad" end of the ring that she always gave the hairy eyeball to.

I realised that this was getting ridiculous; though the indoor provides a nice, enclosed, and very safe place to ride, I was getting really bored going in circles with white walls surrounding us. I enjoy Lucy the most out on trail rides, and if I had any hope of getting out on the trails again, I at least needed to get to the outdoor first.

On Saturday, I decided I was going to ride outside. It was lovely and sunny outside and I had no excuses. My barn owner had installed gates to the outdoor area so that if a horse got loose, they couldn't get up to the road. I made sure to secure these gates before getting on.

safety first!

I was all alone at the barn so I also made sure I had my cell phone in case something happened. I lunged her first and then got on. I didn't allow her to go more than 5 or 6 steps in a straight line; we did bending lines and serpentines all over the whole ring. Gradually I guided her to the boogie corner of the ring and as we got closer, I asked for a shoulder in so she could think about that instead of what was going to jump out at her! I was super nervous but I tried my very best to put on a calm appearance so that she didn't pick up on my nerves. She did so well!!! She was actually a pleasure to ride, believe it or not!! I was so happy and impressed. As we warmed up, I rewarded her good behaviour with a little bit of slack in the reins, but I never gave up the whole length of rein and my heels were jammed down to China. We walked and trotted, and the circles got bigger as we went on, so that we were circling around half the ring instead of doing 5 metre circles. She didn't put a hoof out of place, what a good girl :) :)

please ignore how disgusting she is :(

I hope we can continue this wave of success and keep having good rides. It is supposed to rain for the next three days here so we will stick to the indoor I think, but I hope to be able to ride outside again toward the end of the week.

On Saturday, I am traveling to England for a week to visit family, so she will have that week off unless someone ends up riding her.


  1. Sounds like a great ride, which is just what you both needed. :) Have an amazing trip!

  2. Great! I'm glad she was so good for you. Enjoy the trip to England!

  3. Glad you got back out there, things only build up into worse things the longer you wait. Hope you get a little sunny weather ride in before your trip :)

  4. What a great BO for installing those gates! Has to give you some peace of mind. So happy Lucy behaved herself :)

  5. I'm glad you put your big girl jodhpurs on and the ride went well! You have to be proud of yourself and Lu. :)
    Also, I think those gates are a no brainer and should have been installed long ago, but I'm glad they are up now. :)

  6. The gate looks so reassuring. :) Glad it went well.

  7. So glad it went great! Good girl, Lucy. Good girl, Kate! And kudos to the BO too for putting up gates. Enjoy your trip.

  8. Sounds like the just ride you guys needed. Have a great trip!

  9. Oh I love when things go well when you are a bit unsure.

    Have fun in England! So jealous!

  10. Love that the gates are there now! Hopefully you won't have any occasion to make use of them :)


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