The Power of the Ring

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How do the horses like the new riding area [The Forging of the Ring]? On the plus side, it’s easier to work. On the minus side, it’s easier to work.

Sides
The contrast between the remaining high grass/small trees and the mowed area gives the sensation of being in an enclosed ring. Milton clearly feels more protected than he had felt about riding in the pasture.

Being “in a ring” has lured the horses, particularly Rodney, farther from the barn than they were working before. I’m too far away. That’s bad. But I’m in a safe space. That’s good. But I’m too far away …. The conflict resolved itself after a few sessions.

It’s not an impenetrable barrier. I can’t drop the reins and kick the way I can do in either ring at Stepping Stone Farm. I need to maintain some contact with the steering mechanism, otherwise, back to the barn we go.

At one point, Milton shot off on a diagonal out of the ring. Now, he eyes to the spaces between the treelets as his own personal runaway truck ramps.

Space
The length of the long sides gives us the chance to develop some trot before we have to turn. Previously, we were turning almost constantly. That’s a real momentum suck.

Grass
Count Fussy Feet can no longer complain about grass engulfing his ankles [I Will Take My Victories Where I Can Get Them]. Rodney didn’t seem to mind the high grass as much, but he certainly doesn’t object to it being shorter.

Slope
One side of the ring runs up into the slope of the pasture. It’s maybe a 10 degree slant along the two short sides. Perfectly ridable, but I need to sit up and ride the downturns, particularly the far, upper corner on the left rein. That seems to be everyone’s bug-a-boo. Sit up. Inside shoulder back. Weight not dumping onto inside seatbone. Otherwise, it’s a drop-shouldered, counterbent nightmare of a turn. On one hand, I’m learning to ride correct corners. OTOH, I’m coming to hate that corner.

Bottom Line
The new space has allowed me get a lot more done when I ride. Everyone has been working – comparatively – hard lately. Rodney is a bit overwhelmed by it all. Then again, Rodney can get overwhelmed by a leather halter [Here We Stand], so it’s not a high bar. OTOH, while he may be a special snowflake, he’s not wrong. I’ve been registering some creaks and groans of my own.

Onwards!

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Categories: Horses, Pasture, Riding

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