Monday, July 27, 2009

I Don't Know What I Don't Know

We were able to ride Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The temperatures were quite warm but we toughed it out, the good little horsemen that we are. Sunday we rode along the canal to a feedlot a couple of miles away. The cows are the ultimate scary object. Put them next to a canal and you have the ingredients for an exciting ride. Dusty is the brave one although we each got to take a turn at leading. Once by the cows we had a big open field to do some loping. We even loped side-by-side for awhile without them racing each other.

Saturday's ride was out to the development. We did the loop backwards from our normal direction. This is the aqueduct bridge we cross.

There were some atv riders out there and they were jumping off the bridge. We were on the bridge when one crawled out of the water and jumped from the bank of the canal into the water. The splash caused the horses to do a "standing shy" because the noise came right from under them.

They cleared a new area at the development and it's a graded, big, flat area. We practiced loping and even tried loping circles together and had a little success with that. We can tell the horses are getting in pretty good condition because they did sweat, but it was never dripping off of them, and there was just the slightest breeze. It had to be close to 100 degrees. Well, they're in good condition, that is, if sweating is an indicator of physical conditioning. By the time we get home the only damp spot is under the saddle pad.

Friday evening's session was out back with the cones and rails. Jessie did some really nice loping through the cones. She's slowing down so we can make a little sharper turn and she's anticipating a lead change and quickly drops to a trot for a step as she changes. Flying changes are just around the corner (from the "famous last words" department).

The Feedlot

We had been toying with the idea of going to a horse show. The Paint organization puts it on. They had a green WP class and a green trail class. Instead of taking the horses, after our ride on Sunday we headed over there to scout the class. We think we could have at least not embarrassed ourselves. I'm still unsure if I want to do the whole show scene. Maybe it's my experience with dog shows, but I'm just not comfortable around shows. You see a lot of hinky stuff. One guy was fencing his horse to stop in the 200 foot arena. Okay, I understand you want to train, but the show is over fella, it's 3 in the afternoon, easily over 100 degrees, the footing is not conducive to sliding, do you really need to run this horse down 10-15 times?

It was nice to see the course and we have most of the obstacles in our practice area, except for the bridge. There is another one in August so we'll see how we (Ranae and I) feel about it by then.

How many? Well, we count their feet and divide by four.

Coming up this Saturday we have a lesson scheduled with Matt Sheridan. After the workshop the girls said they wanted to take a couple of lessons and I said I would join them. Each of them have something they want to work on. Sometimes I just have the overwhelming feeling that I don't know what I don't know. The only thing I really want to work on is loping. It's an hour lesson. Can you do that for an hour? Is there something else I should toss in there? Any suggestions would be helpful.

I changed out my mecate reins for split reins. I had made these reins when I had my first horse, Tex. There were a lot of miles on these reins. They even had the little magic marker marks where the center was. Geesh. Who gets nostalgic over a set of reins? It felt funny not riding in them, but sooner or later I knew I would have to change, particularly if I ever want to ride one-handed.

Taking a Break
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