Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A little fun in a week of amazingly bad weather

What a crazy week. Monday night was one of those lost causes, nothing went as planned. Two and half hours at the barn, and all I really did was lunge in a halter. Should have taken 20 minutes right? Not when I’m waiting for the horses eat at the barn since they’re missing dinner outside, and when a certain appy-butt gelding doesn’t believe my promise of food at the barn and refuses to be caught, and when I’m unexpectedly cold hosing the leg of a certain mare that I had planned on riding!

The good thing is that I did get to meet my tack room neighbor; she has a HUGE standardbred and a thoroughbred, both off their breed specific tracks. It’s good to get to know people so that I’ll have someone to go on trail rides with!

Bear did great lunging, his canter is already much stronger than two weeks ago. He is comfortable cantering on the lunge in there, and we trotted over some cones that I had laid down on their sides. (I had to get really creative! I’m bringing the trot poles over this week.)

Tuesday night I checked on Miss Big Leg and things went so terribly wrong getting out there, and it was raining so hard that I was drenched by the time I found them in the pasture. So I gave up and went home for food and warm dry clothes.

Bear has been getting slightly more attention towards the end of the week. Friday and Saturday he got lunged and I hopped on with the bareback pad. He’s so comfy bareback, he’s got a good back for it! I still use the pad because I feel like my butt bones would poke him. He’s so good about it! Every time I get on him bareback I think, “This is the day… the day he dumps me…” Real positive, I know. But he stands still while I climb on, and he jogs along so smoothly if I trot a bit, he really doesn’t get that he could take advantage of getting me off balance, I love that! Also I think doing some bareback is really helping him pay attention to my body asking him to turn. He felt awesome tonight, just right where I wanted him each step. I kind of like this new game, keeps things fresh.

When I lunged Friday I put the side reins on after warming up a bit. His canter is good and strong on the lunge line now, but I didn’t canter him with the side reins because I had them on the bareback pad and that’s not really designed for that! I was lazy and cheating on tacking up, and it worked just fine for some trot-walk transitions.

Saturday when I lunged I put some trot poles down (YEAH! I finally took them out there!) and he got to pick up his little feetsies. I slightly raised one end of each pole with the raised side being left on first pole, right on second, and so on. This created the visual guide of a lower center to encourage him to trot straight down the middle, and it raised the poles just enough to really make him pick his feet up and pay attention. He trotted through like a champ, nice and relaxed but with good cadence and stride. Then I rearranged things to have a tiny cross-rail jump. Tiny in height at least. He trotted that a couple times and thought it was no big deal, but did have a hard time picking the middle of the jump. He got it after a few tries, so much easier to jump the lowest part! So I asked him to canter of the little X a couple times and called it good. I want it to be easy and interesting, I want him to enjoy jumping!

The rain broke for Saturday, but it sounds like it’ll be back on and off all week. LAME! I want to go out on a non-muddy trail ride, and the way things look now I feel like even with out more rain it won’t dry out until March! Oh, winter… I guess that’s why he’s at boarding school with the indoor arena!

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