Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Sunday Lope

Robin and I had a late Saturday night at a friend's birthday that then made for a late and lazy Sunday morning.  While putzing around the house and doing some chores, the barn kind of slipped out of our minds, but we rallied for a late afternoon ride.

We are glad we did, because it was a gorgeous afternoon.  The sun was out, the wind had calmed down to a normal spring breeze, and the guys were in excellent moods.  Bear was back to standing tied like I've come to expect him to.

We rode on the strip again and used the same cone configuration as yesterday.  I started off letting Bear graze while I snapped a few photos of Robin riding.

You can see more on her blog.  Then I hopped on Bear and things were great from the start.  He was really paying attention to all my subtle cues, and when I asked for the trot he went into an extremely relaxed jog.  I got the impression he was a little worried that I'd make him trot for an hour again.

I had no intention of riding that long again.  My knees are still a little tender on the inside from the new, stiff leather on my saddle.  Plus I could tell Bear was quite fatigued from the last two days of riding.  He continued to give me some excellent trots, but his body was not moving quite as easily as it was yesterday. Nevertheless, I had to ask for the lope again.  We used the same long straightaway as yesterday, and everything was great. 

He didn't get worked up at all from the lope.  I think it was definitely due to the tireds.  I could bring him down from a run and he would just stand.

I did not want to over-work him, so we just cooled down at the walk.  He was still paying excellent attention to me.  Sometimes he will give his opinions about direction with a stiff neck and a forceful manner, but today his opinions were more like leaning in a certain direction and asking if we could please go back to Robin and Steen.  Sometimes I would let him, and sometimes I wouldn't. It felt really nice to have that kind of control.

After the ride Bear was falling asleep at the hitching post.  I untacked him and rubbed him down.  He still has a slight knot on the right side of his back.  He really loved when I worked that out with my fingers and hands.  With regular attention and consistent work it shouldn't bother him much longer.

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