Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let's Lope

We were able to get in TWO rides this weekend. Saturday's ride was out to the development. The temperatures were cool and the horses were frisky. We did a lot of trotting to warm up. Once out, we found a place to lope the four leaf clover exercise. We did that for about five minutes in each direction, then loped in a big rectangle. From there we walked over to the "big square" area and loped around that a couple of times. We would cross through the middle and try a lead change. Jessie would change leads, but it is still pretty ragged. From there we went a little farther out and loped and trotted over some berms that some dirt bikers had built up. We had worked up a sweat by then. It wasn't too hard to do as their winter coats are coming in. We walked home and gave them a bath.

On Sunday we started off in the other direction by going out to the alfalfa field. The recent rains left the ground soft and it was nice loping around there. After warming up we fooled around trying to get some flying lead changes. (We really don't have any idea on how to do this other than what we have read and seen, but it's fun to try, and every once and awhile we get one). We headed out to what we call the "quarry" where there is some flat ground with good footing. I found an old piece of pvc pipe to use as a baton and we tried Craig Cameron's pass the baton exercise. We lope side-by-side in a circle and toss the baton back and forth. Jessie is a bit faster than Dusty so we were on the outside. The horses stayed in their circle nicely despite that fact we were out in the open with no fences anywhere.

Jessie's lope is slowly come down in speed and she is getting better at letting me steer as well. More importantly, it is a much more comfortable lope and I actually have time to think about seat and leg position. It's not a rocking chair lope just yet, but we might get there.

We talked about next weekend's ride. On Saturday we are going to try a long ride out to the arena about 6 miles away. Then on Sunday we are going to switch horses for a ride and see how that goes. We'll let you know.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm Feeling Old

It was a beautiful fall weekend here with temperatures in the mid-80s. Ranae is out of town so it was up to Jessie and I to go it alone. I charged up the GPS and we headed out on Saturday afternoon. Once on the canal I put her into a trot and we went for about a mile. Hers is not quite the sitting trot, although it has improved. I alternated trying to sit it and posting. When she got to fast, I asked for a lope then brought her down to a trot again.

Once we were past Panama Rd. we loped and trotted all the way out to the development. I had the ipod in and the music cranked and she was doing most of what I asked. We loped around the square, then trotted down the road, then loped backed through the development. We loped some circles, we loped some squares. It felt good to see I was get her to sweat a little bit. When we got back we had ridden for 90 minutes with an average speed of 4.4 mph. Our top speed was 11.2 mph. Our usual rides are around the 3.3 mph range. The 11.2 top speed was much slower than she usually goes too.

Sunday we started out around 11am and rode out to the city farm. We had to wind our way through more residential areas and traffic was busy on two roads we had to cross. Once out in the open I put her into a lope and we went for about half a mile. The ferrier had come on Wednesday and some of the roads are quite rocky so I put her into a trot and we trotted for about two miles. There was an area where we did trot-lope-trot transitions. We worked on our stops over by a cotton field and then trotted to the canal. From there it was an easy walk home. The GPS total were almost the same except she loped faster. She had a top speed of 13.4 mph and our average was 4.1mph.

This morning I am feeling it. My lower back muscles are sore, my shoulder are sore, and my legs are sore from the posting. What happened?!? Geesh, it's not like I spent all day in the saddle, but it sure feels like it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yes, it's me

It's been a little bit. You know how life is, circumstances sometimes get in the way of riding time. Jessie is enjoying her break, although she got a short little ride and some groundwork last weekend.

A quick update on the puppy, Maddie, that we found. Our friend picked her up (well, really, wrenched her from our arms) after we had taken care of her for 6 days. She is at her new home and settling in nicely. I haven't seen her, but hear she is growing quickly. She is surrounded by toys. She has two cats to play with and an owner who loves her. Thanks to everyone for your kind words and offers of help. They were appreciated.

We have shot some new video. I haven't looked at yet, let alone edit it. I hope to get after that in the coming weeks....