Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Touching Base

It's been a busy couple of weeks. The Saturday Photojournalism class is fun, but it takes a big chunk of time. We've also had some weird weather that has cut into our riding time. We were able to get in rides each of the last two weekends and got to work our horses. We even shot some video. Hope to have it edited this week (that's optimistic).

I'll tell you a little about Sunday's ride. We rode out around 10 and it was fairly humid. We got to the development and spent about half an hour on loping. I was working on collection and it was causing Jessie to speed up so I did quite a few sit-and-yield-hindquarters into a bend-at-the-walk. That didn't seem to be doing the trick so we did serpentines at the lope. This was much more fun. She was doing some very cool lead changes and she learned that if she loped slow(er) she didn't have to change directions. I think Ranae was working on picking up leads over on her side. She'd stop every once and awhile to coach me on my style and seat position.

The horses were breathing hard so we left the development and went a farther out. As we were talking about cues and stuff Ranae said she needed to work on asking for the lope and have Dusty respond without taking a few steps to get into it. I said we should try to get him to do it from a standstill. We stopped in some soft ground and she gave him the cue.

"Three Steps", I yelled.

She stopped, turned around came back, "One Step!". She stopped, turned, BOOM! - right into the lope.

She stopped turned, "Two steps".

She was near me now so we talked a moment and I encouraged her to "Make him lope fast". I even went so far as to tell her to take an end of her split rein and be prepared to whack him. She got ready, gave the cue, then whack! Dusty kicked up, there was quite a bit of daylight between Ranae's butt and the saddle, she stayed on and got him in the lope. Stopped, turned around, asked for the lope and he took right off.

I said, "Great! I would have felt terrible if you had come off. Let's do it again!" And she did! Dusty went right into the lope three more times and we moved on. We rode over to the pipes and jumped those (Ranae loves doing that - Jessie seems to get all wired up so sometimes we just walk over them) and then we headed home. I was a 2 1/2 hour ride and both of us felt we had a little more handle on our horse and that's a definition of a good ride.
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