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Fuck it, let’s canter!

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The September-October holiday period is finally over, thankfully. I hate this time of the year. A month and a half in which most people don’t bother to work, waiting for “after the holidays”. As a small business owner, it drives me insane.

Today I woke up feeling kinda shitty. It happens. Drank some coffee and went to the stables, as I do every day. Lately, I’ve started combining bareback riding into our routine. About twice a week, we ride with a bareback pad (we use a Barefoot pad). It does wonders for my seat, and Talo enjoys it too. Makes me feel like a Native American or something. Although it’s very padded and soft, and nice to sit on, riding bareback (even with the pad) isn’t easy. You have nowhere to hide – it’s you and your seat, you and your balance. I have to pay extra attention to my body position, in order to avoid jumping on Talo’s back like an idiot.

So, since I felt kinda down today, I thought about being lazy and avoiding the bareback riding, and just ride with the regular saddle. After a short self-debate, I decided not to choose the easy getaway, and put on the bareback pad. Talo was alert and the ride was very enjoyable. It made me work my abs even harder than usual, and it was fun to feel the burn. Still, I decided on a short ride – even though the temperatures are great and Talo seemed energetic. After 45 minutes I lengthened the reins. Talo knows the signal – it’s me saying he can canter freely now, and basically it’s the end of the exercise – it’s fun-run time!

Usually it means 2-3 minutes of cantering on each side, and then he really knows we’re done, so he starts looking for the gate. Today, however, Talo has decided to tell me “fuck it, let’s canter!”. So we did. He cantered beautifully and strongly, on long reins and short, stopped for some trotting and walking and then asked to canter again. And again. We had about 15 minutes of very energetic cantering, with him still listening to my aids and feeling very connected. He was really into it, cantering at full speed at times, and although I tried to ease him back into walking a few times, he wouldn’t have it. That being the case, I, too, said “fuck it, let’s canter!”. It was great. It made me happy and helped me shed the bad mood away.

If you are having a bad day, just fuck it. Canter.

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