Pretty much all we do these days. But check out that hock action!
We're finally in the fullest grip of winter, and for poor saps like us without an indoor arena, that means riding has to be dialed way, way down.

In light of that, Dino and I have been doing a lot of cruisin' around the farm. 

I've just been hopping on bareback with my western bridle and walking wherever the ground isn't too hard and lumpy, doing some lateral work here and there, and finding the odd spot of precious footing where I can do a bit of trot work. Since we've had snow, I've been able to do a little more trotting and some cantering here and there, which is great! Deer season is also officially over, so I don't have to worry about watching out for men with guns in tree stands. 

While a big part of me is frustrated that I can't do any actual work, it's been a good chance to let Dino do his thing (explore every uncharted square inch of the farm) while I focus on my seat, balance, and weight aids. Walking hills and in deep snow nearly every day is also a pretty good way to keep EuroPony in shape, even if I'm starting to get a little soft. I should start walking through the snow myself to get my fitness level back up to par!

During our sedate cruises, I've really been working on the evenness of my seat. I noticed recently that I tend to sit with my left buttcheek tucked under me. All the time. In chairs, on the couch, in the car, that left side of my bum is always tucked under and to the right. No wonder I have such a hard time weighting my right seatbone - my left one is always trying to intrude!

So, in addition to being mindful about my posture during the 23 hours a day I am not riding, I've been riding bareback almost daily to help get the left side of my butt back where it should be. I can feel when I start getting too close to Dino's spine with that side of my rear, and stand a good chance of falling off if I am sitting too far to the right! If that's not motivation to be more balanced, I don't know what is.

My efforts have been yielding good results so far. I find myself having to re-adjust my seat much less often, and I've been getting better responses from Dino to my weight aids for bend and lateral movement.

It may not be as fun as jumping and dressage, but cruisin' has been mostly productive for us so far.


  1. It's always good when you can feel productive about low-key rides!

  2. oh my god. I just realized my left butt cheek does the same. And I'm just sitting in a chair at work. Oh man *lightbulb*

  3. Riding without a saddle is so great for feeling all the places I'm not even or straight! I'm actually jealous of all that beautiful snowy pasture - we've still got rain and mud here!

  4. Love bareback riding! Looks like you guys had fun!

  5. I love riding bareback because you feel so much more, including when the horse is uneven in lateral movement on each side. And you can feel when they are really doing the movement right, versus when they are avoiding.

  6. Good for you for getting out there! My horses are on vacation. I don't trust any of them not to kill me in the snow! They are enjoying playing in it on their own at least. How many days till spring?


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