Let me just take a moment to say how much I love my horse. Well, more so why I love him.
Today was a very nice day for the end of December in Cleveland. I decided instead of walking inside again that we'd take a walk down the driveway and possibly up the street a little way. The barn is on a dirt/gravel road and there's not a lot of traffic on it, so I figured it would be a safe thing to do.
Now, when I've been walking my horse lately I've been riding him bareback. I love riding my horse bareback because I feel so much more connected to him. It also gives me a really good sense of where my balance is, because if I lean too far one way or the other I feel like I'm going to fall off. I think it's a great exercise and I highly recommend doing it from time to time.
I've also been riding him using a halter and leadrope instead of a bridle. On some horses this would be sheer suicide because they cannot be trusted to heed your wishes. Kaswyn, however, completely understand what is expected of him and will do whatever I want him to do. In fact, I can school my horse bareback and in a halter. He'll "get on the bit" and have a very nice dressage frame even without a bit and bridle, and I can school shoulder-in, half passes, and flying changes. I've tried everything but canter pirouettes on him bridleless. It's so awesome.
Anyhow, today I decided that I'd ride bareback and in a halter again down the driveway. I wore my helmet, just in case something bad did happen, but I really wasn't worried. We walked down the driveway and street for 20 minutes. Cars passed, the wind was blowing stuff around in the culvert, both perfect things for my horse to spookat and take off. But he didn't. He really was solid and very good about everything.
On the way back to the barn I marveled at how much I can do with him, and how enjoyable it is to have him as my riding partner. I had a huge smile on my face, but it wasn't from riding an awesome test at a show. It was from taking a walk with my buddy.
Riding as exercise
5 days ago