Thursday, May 2, 2013

Finally, The Days are Getting Longer

For the last two months I've been working out from 7:15 to 8:15 four times a week trying to get back into shape. I use a local physical therapy office that has a "health for life" program, so I am trained under the watchful eyes of trainers and PT's who have a real education in the mechanics of the body and will make sure (I hope) that I don't hurt myself. Why? So, when this time of the year came I would be ready to ride. I'm dropping the four-a-week for three-a-week workouts in May so I can ride Dusty (my wife's horse) on Tuesdays and Jessie on Thursdays. After May, I'll take the gym workouts off (I'll find another workout to replace it twice a week) for the summer. It's worked out fairly well. In order to do the workouts and be at work on time I have to get up at 5:30. After doing it for so long, it's not easy, but easier. And, if I'm getting up to spend time on the horse, it's even easier.

My wife, Ranae is taking Dusty to a Richard Winters clinic in July and at 17 we want him to be in good shape.  She wants me to put some miles on him and on Tuesday we worked on loping and long trotting.  Dusty is fairly well-trained and doesn't mind going out by himself.  He spooked at a few things, but after we did some rollbacks around the scary garbage pile, he kept his attention on me.  I ride him in a snaffle, but he neck-reins very well.  We also did a circle shoulder out and he seemed to know it better than I could cue it.  His lope is smooth.  He is not crazy about picking up the right lead so we worked on that.  He's a little lazy in the back up and we spent a few minutes backing both in a circle and straight.
Jessie, from our photo shoot.

It was great to be out early.  The air was cool.  There were some farm machines working near the fields we use and Dusty stayed calm.  We rode for about an hour fifteen and the gps registered a little over four miles.

This morning was Jessie's turn.  Jessie likes to move along and I don't have a problem with that.  When we are out alone, her head is on a swivel trying to check everything out.  We had planned to do the same loop that Dusty had done (We ride to a field about 1 1/2 miles away where the ground is pretty good), but a dog had us take a little detour.  I carry my stock whip and pepper spray, but still think it's best just to avoid them.

We got to our spot more quickly than with Dusty and because Jessie's attention was sometimes off with the fairies and we had this very wide road, we did the serpentine exercise.  That helped a lot and she is getting better.  When we did our lope in the circle she was much better than last Sunday's ride.  Her speed was better and I've been working on laying the rein on her neck to turn the circle.  She was doing that much better as well.  We did a few rollbacks (gawd, she's horrible at them - or is it me?) and then some lead changes through the middle (much improved).  Her stop in the soft stuff is crisp and sharp.  We loped for 10-12 minutes doing different maneuvers throughout that time.  As this was our first time out, I didn't want to do too much.  I'm still formulating what I'm going to work on and where.

We rode for the same hour and fifteen as Tuesday only the gps registered six miles.  She hardly worked up a sweat.  Guess I'm going to have to work on that.  My ass is a bit sore from the riding too.  Back and neck muscle are tight I guess from the loping.  It's lovely riding early.  It's great to ride two different horses so close together.  I think they will help me learn a lot.  I'm just hoping my body and our horses can hold up to it.
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