Saturday, July 14, 2012

Settling in a Little More

Today was the second ride for Bear and I in the new hackamore.  We started out by skipping groundwork and just getting right into herding some horses.  The treed pasture we like to ride in on these hot days is part of the string of pastures the stall horses have the use of, and this morning about half the herd was in there.

I've moved a lot of horses from the ground with Bear, and I feel like we've gotten pretty good at it.  Robin was also there with Laredo, so I figured I would hop on and see how things go.  If they were going bad, I could always just get off.

Bear was really attentive and good at listening to my legs.  I think he could sense that we had a somewhat challenging job to do.  However, I was using my hands a little more than I should have.  A few times he got a little annoyed and stated shaking his head at me.  It wasn't too bad, as I know he is still getting used to the feel of the bosal on his nose.  I was certainly not yanking on him at all, and I like to think that in a few weeks time such movements wont bother him at all.

We started by getting the most dominant horse moving.  He is a very quiet quarter horse, and he picked up on what we wanted of him right away.  He helped us get the other horses going, but a few of the younger saddlebreds were not so inclined to move off.  I could swing my mecate end pretty good, but it was not quite long enough to really drive them with it.  So mostly Robin got them going and I blocked one side and kept them moving.  The whole thing only took a few minutes, and it was pretty fun.

At that point I got off to get some groundwork in.  Bear was soft to the hackamore when I'd back him or drive him.  When we did some of the unwrapping exercises we did last time, he got a little more lively.  He didn't love them, and he started to anticipate things and moving off before I asked him to.  At one point my rope got caught on the wrong sides of the horn and cantle, and there was no way he'd unwrap from that.  He trotted off feeling a little scared, but then he just stopped and waited for me to untangle them.  The next few tries with that exercise went much better.

Under saddle we had a good time.  Robin was on Laredo and they were using the trees to work on figure-eights at the walk and trot.  Bear was still getting forward and stiff in the trot, so I decided to use the trees to work on that.  We did quite a bit of trotting in, and since he was always bending and I was using my legs, he really settled into a nice, balanced trot.  When we did the same thing in the open area it was much, much better than at the beginning of the ride.

It was a really fun ride.  In my head, I was kind of hoping we could do some loping, but I never quite got things shaped up at the trot.  But I'm sure we'll be doing more in no time.

Oh, and no pics.  I had the camera and snapped one shot of Robin before it died.  Maybe next time.

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