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Riding, Roman

[Riding] Roman, round two

(Forgive me for not making a LJ Rabbit Hole Day post in honor of Lewis Carroll, but I had a bit of a family situation come up and was just not in the mood.)

I really needed my riding today to keep my sanity, because of some family things. When I arrived, I found I was on Roman again this week; Kara intends to keep me on him for the foreseeable future.

He was very easy to groom and tack up -- much easier to tack up than Chester now that I'm used to Roman's tack -- but still incredibly balky once in the ring. I did manage to get him to walk more consistently, but he still just wouldn't trot at all. My instructor kept on me to keep pushing Roman, though.

Eventually I did get him up to a trot, and managed it a few more times, though he'd drop back to a walk literally as soon as I began posting. Finally, with only ten minutes left (and me increasingly exhausted), Roman seemed to figure out that I really was in charge; we got up to a trot and did three and a half laps around the ring. He would've kept going, but the lesson was ending and I wanted to walk him for another lap to let him cool off before taking him back out, so reined him in.

I've been told since that getting him to do three entire laps is actually really, really good; even the experienced riders have trouble making him trot more than one or two consistently, and even my instructor doesn't like to ride Roman because of how balky he is.

That said, it was really rewarding to finally get Roman doing what I wanted. When he got up to speed, he was incredible; he's a very athletic horse, despite his reluctance to actually *do* anything other than jumping, and I look forward to working with him more. Hopefully now that we've found an understanding, next week won't require as much fighting or pushing him... though I doubt he'll ever be completely willing, given what other riders at the school say about his hatred for flat work.

Afterwards, I gave Roman a carrot and an apple, which he greatly enjoyed. and I split the other carrot and apple between Chester and Coalby. Chester was glad to see me (but rather perturbed that he didn't get a WHOLE apple anymore, now that I'm not riding him), and Coalby attempted to groom me... which ended up with me liberally coated in Coalby-drool and snot, and prompted laughter from Kara.

But I ache. Perhaps not as badly as when I started riding at first, but there's definitely a bit more burn than from on Chester, because of how much I had to really push Roman...

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