This weekend was a lovely, autumn long-weekend. Unfortunately, I didn't get to enjoy much of it. I had to work a mid-day shift on Saturday, teach lessons on Sunday morning, then be social for once and meet up with some friends on Sunday night, and back to work on Monday. Thankfully it was a short day at work so at least I had the evening free to ride.
I waited a bit before leaving in the hope that they were fed their hay early enough that when I arrived they would have finished eating. Nope. This is the one thing that I hate about having my horse in a smaller pen and being fed twice a day - if I take them out before they have finished eating, the other horse will eat it all and there will be nothing left when I am done riding. Giving them more hay doesn't always work depending on who is the dominant horse. I plan to pick up some hay cubes in the next week or so so that if this problem arises, I can let the horse who has missed their dinner get some forage before I turn them out.
So I waited for a bit when I arrived before bringing Cisco in. I had chased him around the arena yesterday for a bit, so I was hopeful that he wouldn't be too silly today and I wouldn't need to lunge first. He was quieter on the way to the arena, and wasn't screaming for Phantom like he has been lately when I was do my pre-ride preparations. He wasn't standing still mind you, and he got a few smacks on the chest to remind him not to run me over.
I probably should have lunged. (I will learn one day. I promise.)
He wasn't really bad. Just really, um, forward. As in, can't walk, can only trot really fast. Not cantering him yet probably paid off today - he didn't try to go faster than a fast trot, but felt like he would have moved into a canter very easily had I asked.
With his minimal training, I was fairly happy with how he went considering how up he was. He listened in that he came back to walk when I asked, he just would move back up to a trot before I was ready. Steering wasn't great in that he kept bulging to the inside and we couldn't get anywhere near the track, but he would steer onto a circle or change direction as I asked. Once I am able to have him move laterally off my leg, this should go away.
He did get better after about 20 minutes of mainly trotting, and I was able to do some finessing of steering at a walk. Considering how we started, I was happy to end it there.
He has been really up for the last few rides. The question is why? Is there a reason? I think it might be partly the change in his turnout, and that he is really attached to Phantom again. And partly because of the far end of the arena being really scary, what with horses suddenly popping through the door, disappearing out the door, and wind blowing the long grass around outside and causing the arena to make scary sounds. Which just means more miles. And waiting until the arena gets closed in for winter.