|Sunday's ride: first big bit-less ride|
This past Sunday, our oldest two boys left to return to the US after a three and a half week stay. Their four younger sibs had to leave over a week earlier to get back to school. It has been an amazing time and just lovely to see our kids appreciate the beauty surrounding us in New Zealand AND each other. Our oldest daughter, Kate and her partner arrive in a few days and will stay for two weeks; then, all nine of our children will have spent time with us in our new country.
I was cast in a play and rehearsals have begun in earnest. The play runs in early March. There are lines to be learned and to say that I haven't been able to give getting "off book" my total attention would be an understatement. Lines must be down by the end of this month.
After rehearsal on Sunday, to assuage my empty nest and pour attention on my other child, I took Rocky on another bitless bridle ride, but this one was full-blown. The ride was approximately 4 mile ride--give more than take--including on the beach, out to the island and back and past the scary gecko-stone. I swear not having a bit in his mouth is causing him to spook and startle less.
He was a champ, to the point that I pretty much neck reined (Western riding, holding the reins in one hand and having the other hand free) the entire ride. He worked well with the neck reining focus (I've been practicing neck reining all along with the direct/plow reining) and I couldn't believe how much more comfortable I was in the seat and relaxed in the ride not having to hold with both hands and do the plow/direct reining. Ironically, I am much more balanced and at ease if I am only holding the reins with one hand. It's how I've been used to riding for years and it felt like home.
Rocky the Bit-less Wonder