Monday, September 21, 2009

A Busy Weekend

Saturday I had to take the truck in because the check engine light came on. We dropped it off at 8 am and came home and saddled up. Because they have locked the canal bank gates near our house, we've had to ride through our neighborhood to go around to the other side of the canal. It puts us right in a fallow alfalfa field. There is good footing and we have been taking about ten or fifteen minutes to warm up and do some loping and bending. It's a pretty good good little warm up and the loping has really helped Jessie and I get on the same page. So we started our ride with the same routine, then we did a long trot down the far side of the canal. We rode farther south than we had ever before. We turned west and headed for Union Ave which is Hwy 204 or the old Hwy 99. There was a little market and we got some refreshments and then rode along the highway for about a mile until we could get back to our fields. It was a good experience for the horses with all kinds of vehicles whizzing by. They were solid as a rock.

We've been trying to get the horses to lope side-by-side. Dusty kicks up pretty good when Jessie comes along side and Jessie speeds up and has to take the lead. We got to this one spot that was good to lope and our plan was that we would do circles and then come back around to lope together. If they acted up again we would just do another circle. It was pretty ugly. The "circling" area turned out to be deeper than we thought. It was a mess. It was pretty hot and we were a bit tired after riding for almost four hours so we decided to give it another try on Sunday. Saturday's ride was almost 13 miles.

Sunday was cooler and after warming up in the alfalfa field we headed for our big square in the Development. The plan today was for Ranae to lope the big square and I would lope Jessie around in different areas occasionally coming up and riding by their side and then going off in my own direction. This was much more fun and the horses did much better. Jessie was still a bit speedy (she's just a fast horse ;>) )but Dusty behaved pretty well. Don't know if the lack of kicking up was due to Saturday's ride or not, but I really didn't care, he was doing it. Sunday's ride was almost 9 miles.

Matt Sheridan does a Level 3 workshop in September and October. Its focus is working cow horse and you get to work cattle. He had someone drop out so Ranae bought me the workshop for my birthday. Woohoo. I've been practicing my roping on the ground. I'm pretty good at nailing a road cone from ten feet. Sunday I practiced atop Jessie and I actually caught a cone, a trash can, and a patio chair. (Yep, we branded 'em and turned 'em loose.) The biggest challenge is using the snaffle. Two hands on the reins and one on the rope and I'm a little short-handed. Anyway, I get to ride this weekend up in Tehachapi. We start on Friday afternoon.

I wrote Clinton on Facebook and told him I was getting No Worries Club materials for the last three months and I hadn't subscribed. I don't think his team has the computer thing down all the way. Anyway, I could tell my subscription to the website was turned off this morning. I didn't even get a note acknowledging my email. That was lame.
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