Sunday, May 29, 2011

Foggy Morning Ride and Great Ball(less) of Fire

We're supposed to get big severe thunderstorms starting around noon, so I decided to try to get some rides in.  Pie was up first, and we went on our first real trail ride since his tying up episode more than two weeks ago.  It was very foggy, and cool, and still - just lovely.  Pie seemed to really enjoy his outing - we walked for about 30 minutes - he stepped out nicely, was interested in everything, got to greet a small child - one of his favorite things - and was calm and happy.

Then I got Drift out.  It was immediately clear that he was nervy and distracted - several of the mares are in raging heat, including Dawn, his special girlfriend.  We needed to do a leading practice session in the parking lot first to remind him of his ground manners.  Then I saddled up - he was very fidgety in the cross ties.  We did more leading work, both in the parking lot and the arena.  He was still very up and distracted, but (mostly) paying attention to me by the end of our leading work, although it took a while to get to that point.  He was distracted while I was mounting, which made standing still difficult for him.  Once I managed to get on, we did some figure work at the walk.  After a while, he was able to do what I asked and (mostly) pay attention.  That was it for the day - we could have done some trot work, but he wasn't relaxed enough yet at the walk for my taste - at least we ended up much better than we started and I was pleased that we were able to achieve that much.

Dawn's in raging heat so I let her be - I'm getting over some sort of little virus and was pretty tired by that point.

Tomorrow is supposed to be very hot - 90F with a higher heat index - so don't know how much riding will get done - early morning will be the only possibility.


  1. Pie is such a gem. I'm glad to hear he's feeling better and enjoyed his outing.

    It's always nice to end on a good note and you and Drift accomplished that. So I'd count the whole day a success. We're hot here too high 80's and really humid. Have to get out there early in the morning it's the only way to beat the heat.

  2. "his special girlfriend"... Drift, such the ladies man :) Hope you feel better soon Kate.

    Early morning (only works on not work days) and late in the day are the best times for us right now... warm here too.

  3. Nice work with Pie. I am so glad he's better.

    And a good job with Drift, following Mark's advice to just take it slowly and only do as much as the horse can handle.

    This weather is so finicky. Hot here, again. Thunderstorm threatened for the afternoon yesterday and passed us by. But the cooling effect only lasted a few hours.

  4. I live in the Mojave Desert. It is 50 degrees outside right now with gusting winds and I KNOW the "real feel" temperature is somewhere in the low 40s. Or even lower. (Two terms I have come to hate since moving here in 1998: "heat index" and "wind chill").

    Summer my foot!

    Take care of yourself, Kate, and keep up the wonderful posts!

  5. Love the header pic. Sounds like good work with both

  6. Fun header photo.
    I rode Gussie today, working on transitions, and I was thinking about the signals I was using to ask for the trot- usually I bump my legs alternately, as opposed to a single leg for direction or both legs for collection and softness. So I decided to do what you described in one of your recent clinic posts, where you silently count out the rhythm of the walk- one two three four- and just change it to one two, one two, and just like that, it worked, Gussie stepped nicely into a trot, every time I tried it. Also back down from the trot by changing the count again. I was tickled! So much easier than bumping. She liked it better too. Thanks, Kate.

  7. It is lovely to hear you talking of the heat after such a long snowy winter. I'm glad that Pie had such a nice ride. What a good idea to leave Dawn in the field.In heat mares are the worst. Oh and I love your header photos.....very cool

  8. Glad to hear that Pie is feeling better and you guys got out for a walk... Sounds like it was wise to just give Dawn a day or two to chill and deal with being in heat - my old coach had a couple of mares like that. It was just easier to let them be then fight and have bad rides...


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