Sunday, June 5, 2011


The morning was wet and we also had some things to do in the early afternoon, so we didn't get out until after 2.  But it was one of those gorgeous June days: sunny, slightly breezy, temps in the low 80s.  The horses were a little lethargic from standing in the warm sun all day, but they weren't overly warm.

We continued our new routine of riding in the pasture, though they were out bailing hay.  So we should move back to the strip soon.  It will be fun to go back and forth as I think the variety is good for them.  And me.

Bear was quite distracted early on.  Turns and disengages and some of the other things I use to get him on track were not working.  So we started trotting early and I planned on moving to the lope early, too.  Before the lope, though, I thought we should work on our walk/trot transitions.  These were great.  It got Bear thinking and paying attention to me, and he seemed to be happy with the challenge.  Of course, he's always happy to slow down or stop, so I'll have to keep the transitions in mind when he's a little distracted.

Once we had some nice transitions dialed in, we moved into the lope.  He was good almost right away (I think the transitions early on helped with that).  Going right, again, was not the best.  Still, at times we had some smooth loping to the right, at other times it was a little rough.  I didn't push him on it, but we did work at it some.  Then we moved back to the left.

This time he gave me his best lope yet.  Instead of going into the jackhammer trot, he smoothly entered the lope in one stride and gave me a relaxed and collected lope, all on a loose rein.  Afterwards I gave him some big pets as a reward.  He was definitely pleased with himself.

But that also might have been where I made a little mistake.  I made a big deal of how well he did, and then we rested for a few minutes while Robin and I chatted and passed the camera, so then when we went back to work, he was not happy.  It took many tries for me to get a nice lope out of him again.  I did finally get it, but even after that the rest of the ride was a little less than smooth.  And Bear was again distracted.  Even going back to transitions didn't help calm him down.  Perhaps I should have gotten off and done a little groundwork with the mecate, but I wasn't thinking that way as most of the ride was pretty good.

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