Friday, September 28, 2012

The Mid-Week Rides

This week was warm, dry, and sunny, and I got out to the barn everyday except Thursday.  On Monday we spent so much time with Steen we didn't end up riding, but I got some nice rides on Bear the other days.

Tuesday was a fun ride.  We played cow again with Robin on Laredo.  They seemed to be doing better than the other times.  Bear was really soft the whole time.  His transitions were smooth, and at times we would get ahead of the "horse," and I would get some very soft collection and slow his walk down with just my seat.  We also spent a little time running away from the "horse," and those were really nice, small circles.

We had so much fun loping during the game that I spent a good portion of the rest of the ride at the lope.  Things were pretty good when we were going up and down the strip, but when I would ask for a gradual bend, Bear was stiff and not very compliant.  I really thought I was riding well, and Robin agreed that it looked more like Bear was unwilling to bend rather than not understanding what I wanted.  I was surprised at this after our great circles when we were playing cow.  We did end up getting some nice circles again late in the ride, but we could never get a nice mix of long straight-aways and nice turns.

Wednesday and Friday our rides were quite similar; we warmed up for a few minutes on the strip, and then headed out into the newly mowed soybean fields.  Laredo was super excited to be going out again, and Bear was just so so with it.  His back appears to be sore again.  I'm not sure if Tuesday's loping was the cause, or if it came from something else, but it translated into an unwillingness to walk down the hills and general lethargy.

Thankfully he did warm up as we walked and trotted around.  We also threw in the occasional lope up the big hills.  This was totally wearing Laredo out, but he was really good for it, and Robin said he continued to listen to her legs throughout the ride.

Unfortunately, Bear remained quite sore on Friday.  I was hoping the easy ride and day off would help him out more.  Like I said, the ride was almost identical to Wednesday's, except when I asked for the lope uphill he was really tossing his head and veering to the right.  I didn't ask for any more after that.  When we got back to the barn I gave him a nice rub down.  He seemed both annoyed and into it, so maybe it was helping.

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