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I used to love galloping bareback before I retired Jake. Used to have this dirt road behind my property that they had dug up for construction (wonderful footing, like arena footing) I used to just put a bridle on, warm up by walk/trot on our 1.5 ride to get to it. Then we would get to this huge open field, Jake would get so excited, he would be prancing and I could just feel his energy. Then I would stop, point him down the road, grab a fist full of mane and let him loose.

That and flying lead changes...something about making a horse skip is amazing to me. Jake was great at them for just being a backyard trained horse.
 

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I used to love riding around the pasture. With a horse who views the world as one giant scary place, getting out of the arena was success in my mind.

When we cut back on riding due to college, one of my favorite things was (and sometimes still is) to just ride with no ground warm up and see how we'll do. As he's matured, he's gotten so great about being able to handle this with months off.

Law school was an even bigger change with not being able to go home frequently anymore, and now... boo, joining the real working world. I'm just happy to groom them while they're grazing in the pasture, give them kisses, and breathe that intoxicating horse smell.
 

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I do a ton of groundwork/tricks/liberty with Diamond, and honestly while I like riding, as far as doing things with Diamond, the groundwork is my favorite.
 

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I use to just love to put a bridle on and walk around the property. I would escape to the back of the property and just lay on his butt or hug his neck. Just being there with them with no one around, man there is no feeling like that.

AND now I'm teary eyed. God I miss my horse.
 
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