Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Drift and I Work It Out

It was a beautiful day - 70sF with sun and some wind - and all three horses had good rides.  Pie and I went on the trail this morning for over an hour, and we added some hills to our ride.  He motored along just beautifully and even went over stones without apparent discomfort.  If he's feeling good tomorrow, we'll add a bit of trotting, probably in the arena, which is softer than the trails.  Our local school was having a bicycle day - huge groups of kids on bikes - and I dismounted a couple of times so Pie could watch the procession go by - he used to be afraid of bikes (none of those on the ranch, I guess) but is pretty much good with them now, but I wanted to put safety first with all those kids around.  Then we remounted and went on.

In the afternoon, Drift and Pie both got rides.  Drift was very distracted - Dawn was in her stall, there were other horses in turnout, the wind was blowing.  We did a little leading work, and although he was compliant, he wasn't entirely "with" me, if you know what I mean.  I got on and rode a bit at the walk, but he was very tense and struggling to pay attention.  I got off and we went back to some serious leading work, with very strict boundaries and lots of turns and backing out of my space.  We also did fairly long periods of just standing around work, particularly as horses came in and then left on trail rides.  Finally, he began to focus and relax, and I got on again.  We ended up having a very productive work session, with lots of trotting.  When he started to get tired, the canter tried to show up again, but I was able to get him to resume trotting again.  Then we did some intentional canter work in both directions - he took both leads easily but the canter is still pretty rough and "leapy" - just green horse stuff.  His left lead canter smoothed out some by the time we were done, and he was breathing every stride.  The right lead is still rougher, but we did a good bit of work and his breathing was pretty good.  Then we did some more trot work in both directions - he was able to do this without trying to canter, which was very good.  I was delighted that we got where we needed to be, although it took time - our total work time was about an hour and a half.

Then I took Dawn out for a spin.  It was another really good ride, with lots of stretching down - she was nice and relaxed and very soft and responsive.

Another good day with horses - I can't have too many of those.

3 comments:

  1. Ha! None of us can have too many good days with horses. Drift is really coming along for you.

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  2. Another good day with the horses and you're right, there can't be too many of those.

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  3. Great day in the saddle. You're right, you can't have too many of them!!

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