Monday, January 12, 2009

First Ride of the Year

Sunday was cool (I hesitate to use the word cold in deference to other areas of the country), but clear and, after only being able to do a little groundwork Saturday afternoon, we finally got to saddle up and ride.

We went out and around to the backside of the canal which requires riding on the road for about 1/2 a mile. Both horses stayed cool and calm as we went around traffic. Once out there we trotted for about half a mile to get them warmed up and then we walked for about a quarter mile. Ranae went ahead and was doing circles about 30 yards ahead and I squeezed Jessie to go into a trot. She just dropped her head and gave a little crow-hop. Surprised, I flexed her to a stop and yielded her hindquarters and asked again. Again, I got this little buck/crow-hop. I looked at her feet and felt the cinch. I couldn't find anything wrong so we walked off. Who knows? I think she was a)itchy from her long hair, b) upset because she had a saddle and cinch on, or c) just being a horse. Anyway, she wasn't really trying to get me off or, if she was, she wasn't trying very hard.

Both horses were stumbling a lot. The farrier comes next week. We did a little more trotting and we did a few short lopes. I worked on some bending circles at the walk and vertical collection. We probably rode three or four miles over 90 minutes, so it wasn't too taxing on them. She tried one more little crow-hop. It seemed uncharacteristic.

It was good to get out because I think the rest of this month's weekends are pretty full. I have to do some tree-trimming at the house next weekend (an annual two-day chore). The following weekend I get ready to head to Equine Affaire for a week so that weekend is shot too. The good news is that after the layoff the days will be long enough that I can start back on the Monday & Friday morning workouts. (The moon was almost bright enough to work this morning.)
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