Saturday, July 21, 2012

Backsliding

It is inevitable.  We've had some great weeks with Laredo.  He's trying harder, he's less bothered by us touching his head and ears, and he has a new energy about him when we're working.

But today we had none of that.  He was distracted from the get go, and about 10 minutes into the ride he tried to buck me off.  Well, I can't say for sure he tried to get rid of me, but he did throw in a few sloppy bucks.  We were just walking some figure-eights.  He was somewhat good, but we had a sticky point at the far end of our left turn.  I went to push him a little harder with my outside leg and he just jumped out and started bucking before I could even give the stronger cue.

I let him go for just a second as the jump was small and I thought he might just settle himself.  But he kept going.  I got thrown forward and thought I might be toppling out of the saddle soon.  Instead I was able to keep my seat and bring his head around in a one-rein stop.  He settled down very quickly.  We did a few flexes and disengages and then walked off to do some more circles and figure-eights.  I was a little apprehensive, but Laredo seemed fine.

Shortly after that we had a few good things going for us.  He got considerably more responsive in the figure-eights.  He was walking out a little better, and I didn't need to use the reins much other than for some subtle corrections.



He was also stopping and backing extremely well.  It was neat to feel him take four or five huge steps back and think of the rides a month ago when we battled for one mediocre step back.  And we didn't always get that one.



Those good moments were pretty short, though.  He was very checked out for most of the ride, and he just didn't feel like the horse I've started to get used to.  I'm not sure if he was tired or what.  It has been really hot here lately, but this morning was nice and it got cool in the night.  I could guess about it all day, I'm mostly just happy I rode my first true bucking horse and was able to stay on and stop him.  I was also lucky that the horse was a little uncoordinated in his bucks. 

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