Rio and I are back in action! It felt sooooo good to swing a leg over on Sunday and be back on my own boy. I have been super lucky to get to ride some really cool dude’s during his recovery period, but nothing is like riding your own baby! He felt totally normal right off the bat. I walked around on a long rein while chatting with my fellow barn mates. He felt super loose and relaxed, so I got right to work after about 5 minutes of putzing.
He felt a bit discombobulated at first, but at the same time super-sound (which I was very relieved about). He needs a bit of managing to get going super steady, but then he settles right into it. Rio occasionally like to act like a green broke baby, and will veer right off the the track, as if to see if you’re paying attention. When that is unsuccessful, he will try to play with the pace. He over-reacts and bounces around my corrections before settling.
You can see in the short little video clip my friend Amy waving (in orange) and then I go across the diagonal and Rio like tries to stall out for a step or 2 before moving forward again. He rarely pulls that step of inconsistency when he is in regular work, because he KNOWS that’s not the answer, but he tried it a few times Sunday. He also kept shaking his head and acting frisky every time we went by another horse, which he typically doesn’t do either.
When we started to play with the canter I thought someone may have traded Rio for a super fit event horse. He was SAUCY. I was actually having to take a strong feel with some very obvious half halts thrown in. I neverrrr have to use that much rein aid, but Rio apparently wanted me to know that he was ready to work. All I could do was chuckle and let him go around getting some of his jollies out.
Towards the end of our 25 ish minute hack he had settled quite a bit and we were trotting at the far end of the ring. 3 horses and our trainer were standing in a huddle near the center, watching the 4th rider do an outside line. Apparently Rio felt like I was taking his saintly manner for granted, and out of no where he decided to scoot hard, buck, and then bolt off- straight towards the group of riders. I was still very much in the saddle, but had lost a good bit of rein length when he bucked. I wasn’t worried per say, but I didn’t have breaks or very good steering. I was able to navigate him away from the group, but the only way to go from there was straight into the horse going down the line. I was hollering heads up as we went, and thankfully the very capable rider on course was able to pull up/turn before we barreled into her. About 5 strides later I had him back. I laughed it off and apologized to everyone.
This is so out of character for Rio I couldn’t help but shake my head. I think he was making it prettyyyyy clear that 3 weeks off was not necessary and that he had plenty of energy to spare. The vacay is definitely over! I don’t know if we will jump this week, as most of the barn will be away at a show, but we will definitely be hitting the flatwork hard!
What is everyone else planning this week for their 4 legged friends? Did everyone have a good labor day? I worked, but that’s ok because it means I’ll have more PTO for fall shows haha. I have a SUPER adorable post planned for y’all tomorrow- so check back then!