Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Fourth

It was great to have the Fourth of July in the middle of week this year.   It meant I got to use my day off to get to the barn early before the heat set in.

We were also lucky to have Robin's mom visiting us from Tucson.  We used this opportunity to get all three horses out together for the first time.  We put Laurie on Bear, as he is certainly the most steady and she has ridden Steen a few times before but had not had the chance to ride Bear yet.  That meant I got to ride Laredo.

We rode in the treed lot to get some shade and keep things interesting for all of us.  Laredo was fun today.  From the moment I put his halter on he was very attentive and energetic, perhaps more so than ever before. It carried over into a great ride.

Robin and Laurie started by cruising around the trees, but I thought I should work on some of our other stuff before trying to follow them.  Thankfully Laredo was completely fine being separated from the "herd."

So we ran through our exercises and things were good.  He was soft to my legs and to the bit.  That was the real surprise.  There was almost no rooting like there has been for the past couple weeks.  He would just walk out with energy and then comply when I asked for a turn or a stop or a back.  It felt like he was really with me.

Since things were going well I decided to try and jump in with the others for a few laps around the pasture.  Laredo was definitely excited about that.  He kept jumping into the trot, trying to get to places I didn't really want him to go.  He also stopped listening to my legs and the bit completely.  So maybe we'll have to try that again another time.

Instead we went back to the middle area and worked on serpentines and circles.  At this point he got right back with me, and I think we were going through the nicest most consistent circles we've ever had. I rarely had to bring the rein in to correct him, he was almost always responding to the increase in my leg pressure first.

So all in all, it was a really great ride.  Laredo feels like he is more and more our horse, and Bear was very good for Laurie. They walked and trotted around with no problems, and in the end he was even willing to let her try some finer movements like moving the front and hind end around.

Licking his lips after some nice stepping over.

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