Funny how early 5 a.m. seems to come. And how hard it is to get out of bed when the sun is barely peeking above the horizon. But, get out of bed I did to get into my breeches and boots and take the big guy out for a spin.
It was still a bit hot and humid out even at that early hour, but far less oppressive than waiting until evening. But it heated up FAST. By the time the sun was fully visible I could feel the temperature rising minute by minute and I was so glad I got up before the sun.
That horse is definitely an ex-racehorse. He loves his morning workouts and really listens better in the morning. But he also showed me exactly why he is an EX-racehorse.
What a lazy bones booger-head he was! Drag, drag, drag along. Shuffle those feet, amble the walk. Seriously. I thought I was riding a dead-broke, 30-year-old quarter horse or something. My legs got a serious workout just keeping him moving! And of course, I forgot to grab my dressage whip because I was in such a rush to get up and get riding before I had to leave for work.
All in all, it was a good ride. I squeezed him up into a trot and he offered a very nice canter instead, so I went with it and just let him go. I figured if he was gonna be a lazy-pants, I'd let him give me as much forward movement as he wanted to give! Such a glorious canter he has, too. Ground-eating, smooth, delicious and addictive.
I only worked him for just about 45 minutes. It was starting to get hot and I didn't want to push him too much. Our last 15 minutes or so was spent on lateral work and moving away from my leg as soon as I ask. No ifs, ands or buts about it. If he feels my leg tapping, he'd better ask how far and how fast before he asks why should I? Our little telephone pole/truck episode made me realize I really, really need to work his booty off on the lateral/move away from my leg stuff. I've let it slide for too long and now I need to get it done and get it done right before we do anything else.
The morning ride brought back some delightful memories. When I was in high school, living in Kansas, I'd get up at the butt-crack of dawn during the summer so I could ride before the heat became unbearable. Sometimes, I'd get up and ride before school too. A fabulous way to start the day!
Those were some of the best rides ever. I'd take my little mare, Sunny, out for a gallop. No endless circles or dressage or silly arena work for us. We'd run and jump anything in our path: Logs, ditches, downed trees, discarded railroad ties, tires, hay bales in the field. We jumped a little junked car before the weeds grew up around it and hid it from view. Sometimes bareback. Sometimes bareback with just a halter and leadrope. Sometimes we'd go down to the river for a swim. I wasn't SUPPOSED to, but I did any way. I cherish those memories and that wonderful little mare. She never asked why should I? She just did. Everything I asked, she never balked and we had some of the best times ever.
One day Gabe will get past the why should I? phase and we can start filling our own book full of delightful memories and experiences.