Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Get The Job Done

We don't really have many places to actually train, so we converted the world to our arena. It's a little trickier and sometimes things don't go exactly as planned, but we get the job done. Here's a quick little video from a recent ride:

We are still getting our weekend rides and we spend about half of the ride time training and half just enjoying being outside with the horses. The weather is cooling down (finally) and the days are getting shorter. We'll have to find even more creative ways to get and stay sharp.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A "Good" busy Week

Last Tuesday in visiting the No Worries Club website there was a post about Clinton's Birthday with an invitation to post a video. His birthday was in four days and I thought that there wasn't enough time. Then Wednesday at work an idea began to germinate. Corny, yes. Silly, absolutely. I don't get home until around 8pm on Wednesdays and by the time we have dinner and get settled it's after 9. Ranae was game, so we set up props and video in the dim light of our living room. I edited the footage early Thursday and Thursday evening we video the second part as we were losing the light of the evening, The horses did great with the balloon popping. We had to pick up bunch of the broken balloon pieces. Standing on Jessie's back was tougher than I thought. Her coat is slippery and my boots have no traction. She stood like a statue as I fumbled my way through it. Both Ranae and I couldn't stop laughing and the neighbors watching thought we had totally lost it. Anyway, if you missed it, here it is:

Saturday we were able to get a 2 hour ride in late in the afternoon. Sunday we took them out for a three hour, 10+ miler and worked them fairly hard. I'm (trying ) asking more from Jessie in softness and flexibility. We are going to have to really step it up. In reading the Spring NWC Journal, they had sixty applications for the Intermediate Clinic and only 16 were accepted. We're (me) going to have to get much better if we expect to make the cut!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Touching Base

It's been a busy couple of weeks. The Saturday Photojournalism class is fun, but it takes a big chunk of time. We've also had some weird weather that has cut into our riding time. We were able to get in rides each of the last two weekends and got to work our horses. We even shot some video. Hope to have it edited this week (that's optimistic).

I'll tell you a little about Sunday's ride. We rode out around 10 and it was fairly humid. We got to the development and spent about half an hour on loping. I was working on collection and it was causing Jessie to speed up so I did quite a few sit-and-yield-hindquarters into a bend-at-the-walk. That didn't seem to be doing the trick so we did serpentines at the lope. This was much more fun. She was doing some very cool lead changes and she learned that if she loped slow(er) she didn't have to change directions. I think Ranae was working on picking up leads over on her side. She'd stop every once and awhile to coach me on my style and seat position.

The horses were breathing hard so we left the development and went a farther out. As we were talking about cues and stuff Ranae said she needed to work on asking for the lope and have Dusty respond without taking a few steps to get into it. I said we should try to get him to do it from a standstill. We stopped in some soft ground and she gave him the cue.

"Three Steps", I yelled.

She stopped, turned around came back, "One Step!". She stopped, turned, BOOM! - right into the lope.

She stopped turned, "Two steps".

She was near me now so we talked a moment and I encouraged her to "Make him lope fast". I even went so far as to tell her to take an end of her split rein and be prepared to whack him. She got ready, gave the cue, then whack! Dusty kicked up, there was quite a bit of daylight between Ranae's butt and the saddle, she stayed on and got him in the lope. Stopped, turned around, asked for the lope and he took right off.

I said, "Great! I would have felt terrible if you had come off. Let's do it again!" And she did! Dusty went right into the lope three more times and we moved on. We rode over to the pipes and jumped those (Ranae loves doing that - Jessie seems to get all wired up so sometimes we just walk over them) and then we headed home. I was a 2 1/2 hour ride and both of us felt we had a little more handle on our horse and that's a definition of a good ride.