Thursday, August 25, 2011

More Strip Time

Wednesday was a hot day for us (about 90), but it was dry, and there was a strong west wind that helped keep us cool.  Robin and I tacked the guys up inside to keep them out of the sun and a little bit cooler, and then we set out for the second strip.  We had just gone that way on Sunday for the first time this year, but this would be the first time doing it without another horse.  Surprisingly, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be.

Steen started power-walking through the area between silos and tall corn like nothing was going to bother him.  That only lasted a handful of seconds before a stray stalk (or something) caught his attention.  Nothing bad happened at all, but it was funny to watch him go from big walking to paused and worried.

We made down the gravel drive with no real problems and then Steen had a few minor spooks at the machinery and hay bales that are piled at the entry to the second strip.  Bear responded with some spooks in place as well, but all in all, it was easy.

On the strip we enjoyed the breeze and the nice sunshine.  We walked up and down a few times.  Bear was very alert and almost a tad nervous, but with each passing minute he got calmer and happier.  I think he enjoyed being out.

Steen on the other hand got increasingly agitated.  Robin ended up working with him pretty hard.  I felt a little bad as Bear was being great.  We would just work on minute control issues with soft rein and leg cues.  We'd walk and trot up and down some hills, pausing to stand at the top and enjoy the views and breeze.  He was really enjoying all this.

Robin was definitely working hard to get Steen to calm down.  She was mostly effective, but it took a lot of long trotting sessions up and down the strip, and the ride ended up being an hour and forty minutes.  Not an outrageously long ride by any means, but possibly the longest ride I'd ever had.  And since Bear was being great, it didn't feel that long at all.

On the way back the guys again had some tiny little spooks going by the hay and machinery, but they were probably too tired to worry about anything all that much.  We got back and did a small amount of work on the first strip (we don't want them getting too excited to go home) and called it a ride.  Despite Robin and Steen's small difficulties, it really was a great ride.  We look forward to going out there more often.

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