Monday, March 1, 2010

More Rain Presents some Training Opportunities

It rained a little more than half an inch on Saturday. For an area that barely gets 6 inches a year, that's a lot of water in one day. Sunday cleared enough to ride out. (We had hoped to head to the river, but the weather was still unsettled.)

There were plenty of puddles on our trail and we got to work on our water crossings. I gave Jess a little groundwork warm up and I do think it helped as we headed down the canal bank. They all tended to be concerned with every new blade of grass or piece of trash that wasn't there a month ago.

About a mile out we came upon a pretty big puddle. It was about 20 feet across by 15 feet wide. Since Jessie goes (or went) through water the easiest in the past the other horses lined up nose to tail as we were getting ready to cross. Jessie balked a bit and we had to work for about 5 minutes before she finally crossed. We then went around and tried to help the others. We played in the water for about 20 - 30 minutes until we thought everyone was comfortable with it and then continued our ride.

Like a little kid with new shoes Jessie and I went through every little mud puddle we came across. We worked our way out to a cinder block fence in a construction zone and did our bending into the fence exercise. She was much better as was the fence to work with.

Next stop was the big square. It was necessary to do a bit of cross country and there was, of course, water to cross. We came to a three foot, 6 inch deep rut only this time there was grass at the edge. I had been letting her drop her head to check out the water water, but now when she put her head down it was to sneak a bit of grass. When I encouraged her to "go", she replied, "Let me check this out again". After the third try (and the third bite of grass) I squeezed and said "Let's go!" She jumped the water, bounded up a little berm on the other side, and the gave a little buck just to let me know how disappointed she was to not have gotten to eat. We went back and crossed it again, then we loped a few circles. I think she lost a pound...
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