This past weekend a new riding area was used at the barn- a grassy area that is a hay pasture, which right now is just short grass. The plan is to make it into a reining arena. One section is marked off with overturned buckets at the corners. We used it on Saturday for the 1:30 class, and all the riders just trotted the perimeter once. Buckshot did fine.
On Sunday we used it for the reining clinic. As I rode Buckshot in a canter in one direction, we did okay, not great. As I brought him to a stop, he fell! His front feet went down, and then his hind feet, straight down, beneath me. I leaned back slightly, and then, immediately, he was back up. The reining trainer, sitting on his horse nearby, said uneven ground caused it. As I walked Buckshot to the side, he didn’t limp or seem hurt at all. A while later, after other riders had their turns, I rode him again, trying the canter to the right. It didn’t go very well. The trainer got on him and rode him – beautifully, and energetically, all around the large, grassy arena. Wow – look at how great Buckshot can do the canter! When a truly expert rider is on his back.
Maybe someday, I’ll be able to ride the canter like that. For now, I just have to work on the basics, and the aids, and be glad for small bits of improvement. Like last Wednesday, when we did some great cantering. But I guess that doesn’t happen all the time.
(And in the back of my mind, I still feel bad about his fall. Like I am working him too hard. But the trainer said it was due to the footing. He commented about the footing with other horses also, pointing out that sometimes short grass is slippery to their feet. When I later rode Buckshot again- he didn’t feel off at all. And the trainer rode him as well. He didn’t have any scratches on him, or swollen spots on his legs. But still, I wonder if he is sore today… My sweet horse…)