Monday, August 8, 2011

Riding Alone

Ranae is off on her annual girls' vacation. They are in Alaska this year.

It's still fairly warm here (mid 90's or so) and Jessie and I went out on Saturday evening. She moved out very well. I had taken a crop and if she stopped short, which she will sometimes do when we ride alone, I popped her lightly on the butt and re-cued her.

We trotted most of the way out to our usual area and found a good piece of ground to work on loping, moving off of my leg when we are moving, and being softer. I'm not sure I've really "got it" when it comes to the softer part, but she did seem more responsive as I progressed through our drills.

On the way back we found a pair of binoculars that were on the ground where we cross a little irrigation ditch. They were in good shape. Jessie was great while I got off and retrieved them.

Sunday we went out earlier in the day and at the housing track that has not been developed, we found a cinder block wall to practice rollbacks on. Again I had the crop and used it to try and make her turns "snappier". The footing near the base of the wall wasn't the best, but again I think she improved a little on this exercise.

As far as the loping goes, she has a really smooth, slow right lead. She is more reluctant to take that lead however and I often suspect she may have some soreness in a hind leg somewhere. She takes the left lead much easier and will often speed up. The left is much choppier and less comfortable to ride. She changes easily enough when I ask her to, so if there is some soreness in the hind end, I don't think it's much to worry about now.

After the ride, when she is at our wash station, she is required to stand still and not try to eat grass. She has been very good at this for quite some time. Sunday she reached down and got a weed and the punishment is three LFR stage 2 turns. On the second one her feet slipped out from under her on the grass and she landed smack on her side. There was quite the look of surprise on her face. She got up, we did our three turns and she stood quietly for the rest of the bath. She showed no signs of wear this morning.

There is an ACTHA ride here on Saturday and I'm waffling over whether to do it or not. I'd really like to expose Jessie to more horses. I think it is one of the biggest challenges we face to keep her attention on me in the midst of the other horses. I just don't think I can fit it in to the schedule. Last weekend flew by and I only got half the things on my list done....

I've begun journaling our training efforts for a 2012 Clinic on another blog. It's likely to be rather dry most of the times (I say that like THIS blog is so lively), but it's public if you are interested:
Expedition Stephenville
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