Monday, July 6, 2009

Riding Everyday

I think it was in Rick Lamb's newsletter he gave out a bit of Buck Branaman advice, "The secret to good horsemanship is to ride everyday."

We were able to ride Thursday (see last post), Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday's ride was another solo ride. Jessie was almost 180 degrees from Thursday. She was nervous, and distracted. There were a lot of fireworks going off in the neighborhood and the wind was blowing, but we were riding the same canal bank we always do. We did a short loop and walked the mile back home. It was good just to practice keeping her attention and working to keep her calm.

Saturday we were able to ride 2+ hours and we found all kinds of trail obstacles. We had a water crossing and a ditch crossing and both the horses did very well. We worked on the techniques we learned in the workshop and kept our horses moving slowly through the obstacles.

We rode back around to our open area and practiced some controlled loping and a lot of transitions. I found a couple of pieces of trash and we set them up about thirty feet apart and worked on loping a figure eight around them. We started at a trot, then worked at picking up the correct lead and loping around the curves. Back to a trot through the straightaways, then the different lead at a lope. It was pretty ugly at first, but the horses soon figured it out and Jessie would break to a trot in the center then change leads when I asked her to lope again. Dusty actually did a flying lead change at one of the transitions.

Sunday evening we went out back and worked in our practice area. I had put an eye bolt through a tire and attached a rope and both of us dragged that around for a while. Both horses were pretty good at dragging (better than we were with the rope handling). We weaved our cones and loped our patterns. The weather was still warm and we didn't spend a lot of time out there, but we did get the practice in.

This morning the farrier came at 6:30 am. Dusty had a little "white line" disease (a hoof fungus) but it's not serious. Jessie's feet were so short he didn't even trim her. He helped shaped the right front because she was standing up pretty straight, but other than that, nothing. I had filed some of the cracks off from the Tehachapi ride, but I don't do a lot of rasping on her feet and I was a little surprised he didn't think she had needed a trim. It had been eight weeks. But, her feet looked good so we'll go au natural.

"Sparky" - The kitten we found a few weeks ago.

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