Today. Was. AMAZING!!!
So, I finally went out to the barn with the express intent of riding. It was going to happen, come hell or high water.
Got the barn around 10:30am, after going to the feed store and one of the local tack stores (sold one of my cameras, so I had money!). My friend had a couple of endurance saddles she wanted to try on her gelding, so she pulled him out and brought him up. The first one (I had picked it up at the tack store where it was on consignment) didn't fit at all, but the second one (belongs to our BO) looked like it fit pretty well, so she cinched him up and went to lunge him to see what the sweat pattern looked like. While she was lunging her gelding, I pulled Aires out and tied him up at the front.
He was being a little brat and acting like he'd never seen a saddle pad before and pulled back a little when I went to saddle him, but overall he was good. He even reached for the bit when I went to bridle him. So, my friend got out of the round pen just as I finished tacking up and I decided to take him in the round pen because he was being a little butt. So, I had my friend walk behind us (we're still having issues going to the round pen, but part of it today was that there were people on the wash rack with a dog [wash rack is right next to round pen] and he was like "WTH?!") and we went into the round pen. He listened sooooooooooooooooo well!!! Executed all the transitions I asked for, including going into a canter without me having to get after him, after only having to ask once. He even pulled a little "dressage horse" on me and did a flying lead change (but one of those skipping lead changes...can't remember what they're called...I suck tonight lol). Sooooo, we come out of the round pen and head down to the arena to ride. My friend was walking her gelding cool and on the phone with the trainer, so I just headed down myself, thinking I could mount up.
Well, someone decided they didn't want to stand still...at all. My friend came down after she got off the phone with the trainer and held him for me (tied her gelding to the fence outside the arena so he could graze). Even with her holding him, it took a good three or four minutes for him to stand still enough for me to mount up (from the FENCE, I might add!).
So, I finally got mounted up and we start walking around. Someone decided they had apparently forgotten EVERYTHING they've ever learned about giving to the bit and leg cues because we fought for a good five minutes. He ignored the bit and ignored me. Finally, he realized that I wasn't going to give up and go away, and that he actually needed to listen. After he figured that out, he was awesome!
We even did a little trotting!!
He took off at a nice medium trot with just a squeeze, a cluck and the word "trot." And he transitioned back to the walk as soon as I asked him to.
After our ride, he got a full-on, soaped-up bath on the wash rack! He's never had a full bath (with soap) and trying to get him on the wash rack last year was an exercise in futility. My friend was giving her gelding (Aires' best friend) a bath, so I just casually led Aires up onto the rack too. Then when my friend was done with the hose, I started in on Aires. He stood there like an old pro! He did freak out a little when he saw the soap running across the wet concrete, but he settled down after he realized it wasn't going to eat him. He's so clean and sparkly and soft now!
All in all, it was a wonderful day!
Be sure to check out the pics in my "Just some pics of Aires" thread!