Monday, November 17, 2008

Unseasonably Warm

I can imagine how irritating it might be for people in other parts of the country to hear it's 85 and clear here in central Cal, so I'll just say it was unseasonably warm.

Saturday morning we had an extended groundwork session. We moved to the bigger area to try our liberty exercises and she took the extra space to run around. It didn't take her long to work up a sweat. It was a bit frustrating to see her running around and I had to remind myself it was better than last time (in the big area) and take that as our plus.

In the afternoon we went for a ride and because we had to ride around the locked canal gates we didn't get much done. We rode out to our big square and tried the loping squares exercise. Both horses behaved pretty good. We attributed it to the morning groundwork. We decided to see if we could get the horses around one of the canal gates. The gate is essentially a three inch pipe and it extends about 2 feet past the edge of the canal. The bank is about, I'm guessing, a sixty degree slope. The horses would have to negotiate the slope and the pipe sticking out. We decided to try Jessie first using the sending exercise. The direction we were going was "home" and she very carefully placed her feet and came around almost perfectly. Dusty followed. He was a little more concerned that we were asking him to go in the canal instead of around the pipe and the mud at the edge of the water intimidated him just a bit, but we got around and headed for home.

Sunday morning's groundwork was a little shorter. Dusty had thrown a back shoe and we did some trotting with only a little loping. It was, for the most part, just a nice quiet Sunday ride. We did ride by the egg farm, always an adventure, with the thousands of chickens clucking away just thirty feet from the trail. Second time around the canal gate was pretty good, too.

This morning's groundwork was pretty easy. Jessie was well-behaved back in our "small" area. She took off once and I could almost see her remember the sweat from Saturday and she hurried back to me. We ran through most of the exercises and worked on leading beside. She does it very well on lead, but lags pretty far behind when I'm in her left eye. I asked her to jump a barrel while she was running beside me and she did, so we stopped on that happy note. And, now she gets the next three days off...
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