Sunday afternoon I was on my way to the barn when I got an unexpected message from SellerH inviting Raglan and I to come ride with her! SellerH is a veterinary technician by day, but she flips OTTB’s in her spare time, so she’s always got a project that’s in need of a school. She’d just loaded up one of her mares and was looking for some company, so she picked Rags and I up on her way down south.
I’ve been to Eagle Mountain quite a few times for their winter schooling shows, but I’d never hauled in on a normal day when the facility is quiet. The last time I was there was back in November, when I took Raglan out to his very first schooling show. It was nice to return to an arena that we’d ridden in before!
This was only my second time riding Raglan away from our barn—and this time I didn’t have my trainer with me to remind me to keep breathing. But the last time that we were at Eagle Mountain I was just coming back from my fall off of Rags. I feel a lot more confident with him now!
I threw Rags on the lunge for a few minutes before SellerH picked us up. I was going to lunge him again once we got to Eagle Mountain, but tracking down a lunge line became too much of a hassle, so I did something crazy: I spent a few minutes walking the arena and practicing some groundwork, then I got on anyways. No muss, no fuss, just me sucking it up and getting on the horse.
We had a great ride! Last time we were at Eagle Mountain our trot was super sucked back and he was a major giraffe. On Sunday there were moments where he stretched into the contact and looked like an actual horse instead of a llama—huge improvement, even if it wasn’t super consistent. We went back to basics and worked on easy stuff, like transitioning promptly between the walk, the trot, and the halt. He was still a little bratty, but I felt so much more comfortable riding him through his tiny moments of sass.
Getting the chance to ride Raglan at Eagle Mountain again just made me even more excited for the chance to start hauling out more. Rags and I are still working on the trailer training, but I’m confident that we’ll be road worthy within the next few weeks. We’re at the point where Rags will consistently put his front feet in the trailer, now I just have to coax him into climbing all the way in!