Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stop, Drop, and Roll

Saturday morning we went to the river with our friends. We went to the other end of town. There's no water in the river, but there are a lot of trees and they wanted a change of scenery.

Jessie loaded reasonably well. Again, once we got there her head was on a swivel. We walked along the trail. I stopped and did some flexing and bending exercises and the others went ahead about 50 yards. She started getting all worried so I kept her feet moving. Unfortunately the trail wasn't wide enough and our friends don't appreciate me coming up to them and asking to trot Jessie in circles around them so I could demonstrate to her that being with the herd meant work. We just kept doing our work about 30-60 yards away.

We finally got back to them when there was a decision on which trail to take. They decided to cross the river bottom. It was very sandy. There was also about a three foot drop from the bank. Jessie was behind Charlie going down and when Charlie stopped to check his footing, Jessie dropped to her side. I stepped off easily. It happened really fast. I got her up immediately. It took about 30 seconds for us to get to an area to work and I started moving her feet aggressively in LFR 2. The sand was hugely deep. She did some her best rollbacks because she was up to her hocks in sand.

The rest of the trail ride was pretty uneventful. I didn't do too much more training feeling I had used up our friends' available patience. When we got back home I did some more trailer loading and finally got her to just want to be up there. I stood about five feet away and pointed and she jumped right in. Washing her off I noticed some scratches on her right hind leg. The foot and leg weren't tender or hot. The trail had been rocky in spots and I do think her bare feet were a little sore.

Sunday we stayed in our training area and worked on loping some circles. Again it wasn't a long workout (she seemed a little stiff from Saturday). We did about 20 minutes of groundwork and 40 minutes of riding. She was pretty sweaty when we were done. I was really happy with the circles. She is continuing to improve.

And, this week she'll have Monday and Tuesday off before we get back to it tomorrow morning.
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