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.
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