I'm annoyed at myself for a lack of (good) media this week, since I actually have seen/worked my horse every day this week.... I'm using the term 'worked' lightly, since one night was just a lunge session in a halter and last night it was an abbreviated bareback ride.
Ruby is unconcerned about media, as long as the treat dispenser isn't broken.
However, as I was riding last night and really concentrating on short bursts of good work (since neither of us have the fitness for anything else), I found myself grinning. I avoided riding Ruby bareback for a long time, because she is nothing like Topaz. Climbing on Topaz bareback was like sitting on a sofa. Or the most comfortable rocking horse you could ever imagine. For me, sitting on her broad back was like coming home. The trust and bond we forged over the 6 years I owned her was unique. Riding Ruby bareback is harder. She's not shaped the same. Her gaits are bigger. It's more work. Initially, that made it less fun, so I just wouldn't do it.
Bareback ride during a blue moon in 2015.
But I've always loved riding bareback, and I missed it. My bond with Ruby continued to get stronger, and I started to trust her like I trusted Topaz. So I adapted. I'll toss a saddle pad on Ruby and climb up. I'll work on engaging my sadly underutilized core muscles for short bursts of trot. I'll close my eyes and ask for a canter transition and hope I don't fall off.
And at one point in last night's ride, as she was effortlessly cantering around, I realized I was grinning like a fool. It's taken time, but that bareback canter felt like coming home.
I'm glad I got to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather yesterday (75 in January, what the what Mother Nature?!), since we're gearing up for an apocalyptic ice storm this weekend (seriously, our DoT issued a travel advisory earlier this week, before anything even happened!). I keep hoping for a nice weekend so Cinna can come out and play, but clearly that is a pipe dream.