Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring Winds

Warm spring days mean strong winds out of the south.  Cold spring days mean strong winds out of the north.  So we basically have wind every day in spring.  It was dry again (except for a few sprinkles right at the end), but not quite as nice as Tuesday, so we opted to ride inside.

It actually felt good.  The guys were so distracted on Tuesday, it seemed like we got much more done on this inside ride. It has only been a few days since we got back into a riding rhythm, but already things are improving a lot.  I went through all our usual things, and they were all just a little bit better.  We spent more time at the trot and the lope, and this was the first ride where Bear felt like he was just moving nicely.  So he is getting back into some kind of shape.  I'm sure the lack of frigid temps is good for his joints, too.

Not Bear's most attractive side, but you can see how much thinner he has gotten.
 Robin and I spent a little time working on the "routine." It went quite well. I'm getting better at keeping Bear where he should be in the circles, and Robin is having more fun speeding up Steen's trot to match our pace.  We only did it a couple of times, but both of them were quite good.  I think the second one might have been the best one yet.

Simple leather straps and stainless steel spurs.
Robin was playing around with the camera and got a nice shot of my birthday spurs.  I haven't mentioned them much, but I've been using them for almost every ride.  I'm quite comfortable with them now, as is Bear.  I can more or less just use my leg normally and only engage the spur for specific requests.  I never use them like you see in the movies, riders spuring their horses on to go faster.  Instead they help me be more precise.  I have long legs, and Bear is not a tall horse, so that little extension of my boot helps me ask for various yields and to signal what lead to pick up (though in reality, Bear always knows, this is for my practice). I'm not sure I will become a constant spur user, but with Bear I think I will end up using them more often than not.

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