Monday, December 15, 2008

The Weather Cleared - At Least for a Moment

It rained most of Saturday and that was a good time to get a little work done at the office and then go Christmas shopping. It snowed in the mountains around us and Sunday morning we woke up to frost on the ground. The skies cleared and we decided to to try a little groundwork session out back.

We cleaned up the horses and moved the other horses out. We set up a couple of different colors of plastic sheeting, some cones, a few 8' poles and the barrels. We each did a little GW to see how fresh the horses were because, after all, we hadn't worked them in a couple of weeks. Both of them responded very well. Neither Jessie or Dusty kicked up, even during the loping part of LFR II (that's her Achilles heel). We then each took a turn at the stations we set up doing the sending over the different plastics. We had to stand in one place and ask them to do a figure eight around the cones. They had to trot and lope over the poles on the ground that were about 6 feet apart.

Edit: I forgot to add that we had seen the Extreme Cowboy Race and one obstacle was to blindfold their horse and then lead it for about 25 feet. Ranae wanted to give this a try so I got a towel and we tucked it underneath the rope halter and lead the horses. They were pretty reluctant at first, but they trusted us enough to get the job done.

The barrels were set on their sides and Ranae didn't think Dusty would jump them. I asked her if she wanted to try and when she said she did, I tied up Jessie and stood to the side to give her a few suggestions. It was really just a matter of getting her to increase the pressure of her cues at the right time (which is always easier to see by an observer). It didn't take long before he went over a barrel and Ranae had a big grin on her face (she always wanted a hunter/jumper ;>). Dusty seemed to enjoy it more than Jessie. He jumped them with a lot more enthusiasm. She saddled up and I set the poles about 6" off the ground and she did some jumps over that. Then we raised on side of the pole to about 18" and she did some jumps over that.

The days are so short now and it started getting colder. There were still a lot of weekend chores to do so we wrapped it up. We had been at it a couple of hours.

The rain came back again last night. We probably had about a quarter of an inch or more. The paddocks got soaked and so did the horses. It felt good to get out and do something with them.
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