Thursday, April 1, 2010

Riding vs Gardening

Last weekend the weeds in the garden were up to mid-calf. The alternating rain and sunshine, along with my benign neglect, helped them to thrive. They demanded attention and I knew if I didn't intervene quickly they would soon become a much bigger problem. Add to this that we had the nursery delivering a fifteen foot raywood tree for the front yard and I had to dig a 30" x 30" hole to accommodate it, and the prospect of riding was not looking good.

I decided to use riding as my motivation and was up early working on the hole for the tree. Thirty by thirty is a really big hole! After a break for lunch it was time to tackle the weeds. I ran the rototiller for about an hour and then sprayed roundup for another hour.

I had enough of a sense of accomplishment that I could, in a clear conscious, go riding. Another short break, and I was brushing Jessie. The heavy shedding is almost done now. Her coat is looking shiny. Her tail was a mess and I spent some extra time on that end.

We did a little groundwork. First, we started with some de-sensitizing, then lungeing for respect, then yielding both hind and fore quarters. Jessie was responsive and willing and we were able to move through these exercises with what I like to call alacrity.

There is a foreclosed house with a good sized field at the end of our block and they have taken the fence down. Many of the horse people in the neighborhood have been using the field as an "arena". It is a nice area with only a few gopher and squirrel holes and it has two usable fences. We like to think of it as our way of helping to keep their weeds down.

We worked on some warm up exercises here by doing a little bending, yielding and trotting. Then we worked along the fence doing some turn backs as we continue to grow into a rollback. Jessie has improved on these quite a bit. She used to really lean on the bit when I turned her into the fence. On this day she let me bend her and she changed direction very well.

Once we were warmed up, we loped around the area a few times. I practiced one rein stops and picking up the correct lead. We spent about thirty minutes in the "arena" and then enjoyed a nice ride along the canal bank. It was a beautiful afternoon and great way to cap off a long day.
Post a Comment