Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not up to much...

With the rain and being sick for a whole week, after that Sunday trail ride Bear and I haven't been up to much lately. We had to skip Tuesday class because I was sick and never got out after that. My last post said we were preparing for a schooling show, but when Saturday came I just couldn't muster up the energy. He hadn't been worked with since the Sunday before, I knew he'd be a mud ball, and I was going to have to get up really early since it was one of the first classes. When the alarm went off it was cold outside, I could be dealing with a potentially explosive horse being that it was his first show and he had a week's worth of pent up energy, and I had to go through all the hassle of hooking up the trailer, blah, blah, blah... or I could let the dog out and go back to bed for a few hours! Clearly the bed was the best choice.

I did drag myself out on Sunday to sneak some time in so that he wasn't a complete disaster at class Tuesday. We started with the lunging/driving system. Its really kind of fun since we use more area, go over the poles, up and down the hill, and he doesn't get bored and think about bucking to spice things up. He did really well and got a decent workout, so when I got on I really only planned to spend 5-10 minutes on his back and call it a day. He was so light and responsive and was doing so well that I probably only was on for 5 minutes! It was so great. He is not always responsive to a whoa, so last class we had been working on responding to voice and seat command only. But that had been almost two weeks before, and he was really paying attention and stopping every time I asked! It felt so nice. So we reviewed the other task from class which was leg yielding in and out to make the circles bigger and smaller. He did great on that too, so we just ended!

Tuesday night wasn't quite the miraculous revelation like Sunday was, but he was at least well behaved. I was able to use the arena to lunge and he looked great walk, trot, canter! Yeah for three weeks of being sound! We warmed up walking around with the group, and we worked on a ton of circles and leg yielding on and off the rail. Then the exercise for the night was to go around a grid of cones that made up four boxes. So by keeping the cones always on your left and crossing through the middle each time you would make all left turns and complete four boxes before stopping in the middle cone again. Then of course we did all right turns. The idea was to do it at the jog, but I feel like he hasn't been worked enough lately to justify moving back up to trotting, and SINCE we haven't trotted under saddle for almost two solid months, it didn't make sense to try to do something so complicated. So we walked it, but it was still a very good exercise.

The rain started up again that night (I almost didn't get the trailer back in the pasture!) so I haven't been out since, and don't see getting a whole lot done this weekend. We'll see how Sunday goes.

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