Friday, August 10, 2012

A Break in the Heat?

As we are on "vacation," we have been lazy about getting up and out to the barn.  Thankfully our time off has coincided with a nice break in weather.  Today was absolutely perfect; blue skies with puffy white clouds, temps in the 70s, and a light north wind.  And we took no pictures.

We rode on the strip again, and it was Bear's turn.  I almost went with Laredo again as we had such a fantastic ride yesterday, but I don't want too many days to go by without Bear getting some exercise.  His back has been wonderful, and he is looking really good right now and I don't want to mess with things while they're good.

Plus he was excited to see me.  It always feels good when your horse wants to hang out with you.  But once we got out on the strip Bear was s l u g g i s h.  It wasn't until I started demanding more of him at the trot and loping up and down the strip that he woke up and gave me some energy to work with.

And the big thing we worked on today was listening to my legs at the lope.  We've had great speed control loping in the hackamore lately, but we haven't had the best directional control.  He has been inclined to veer from one side of the strip to the other.  Today he was really bad about it.  At one point we were loping to the left then the right and then the left some more.  It kind of felt like we were pinballing down the strip. 

So we worked on it at the trot.  We focused on leg yields, and I also put him in a lot of situations he doesn't really like and made sure I held him there with my leg.  It is times like this when it is nice that Bear doesn't like being too close to the farm fields, because that gives me a lot of space to work with.

He didn't like it at first.  When I had to really remind him that my outside leg was there and he couldn't go through it he would shake his head at me.  And then all of a sudden he settled into it.  We moved back into the lope and, tadda, no problems.  We proceeded to lope some pretty nice circles.  At one point, we even jumped in with Robin and Steen and we were all running right next to one another.  It felt pretty neat.

We also decided to get back to the routine.  We go through spurts of working at it.  Sometimes it can get a little boring and we aren't sure what to do with it, but we made it much more difficult today.  We added some loping sections, and we also worked hard to keep our circles the same size and have the horse who was supposed to lead through one section move out at the trot while the other was back and more collected.  We certainly had some sloppy moments, but we also had some really good parts where we were all lined up.

This was also the first ride Robin and I did together in our hackamores.  It is one of those things that is not a big deal at all but kinda neat at the same time.

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