Sunday, December 9, 2012

Laredo and Work

It has been an interesting experience having our 3 year old these past 6 months.  When he first arrived it was a matter of getting to know him and making sure he knew the basics.  Then we started working on doing more with less.  After that we began to broaden his horizons by taking him out and about (by far his favorite thing). 

In the fall we had a nice mix of everything going.  But then he had a little injury, and of course Steen had a bigger injury.  That combination meant he got a decent amount of time off, and I really got a lot of time off of him.  These past few rides I have been thinking of getting us back to where we were in the early fall, but perhaps that isn't very realistic.  Neither one of us is stagnant in our experiences with horses and riders (I've been working with horses just about as long as he has been alive, so the changes still come fast for us). 

So now I find myself thinking about how to move forward, and where that forward should take us.  Laredo, in many ways, is a very accomplished horse.  He moves off pressure extremely well; I can take him anywhere I want him to go with my seat.  He stays soft, and he understands what we ask of him.

Until he gets distracted or simply loses motivation.  That is the real difficulty Laredo and I have.  Bear can go through silly patterns and repeat things that I need to work on all day long.  He's fine with it.  Sure, such things are not usually his first choice, but he really is happy to comply.  As I have only been riding a short while, and only thinking about training for an even shorter amount of time, I have a whole lot of things to work on.  A lot of those things I need to do over, and over, and over again.

But such repetition does not work well for young Laredo.  So I am struggling a bit to keep things fresh and open and pay attention to what he needs and less so to what I need or want.  This is a very, very fine line, as I can quickly find myself letting Laredo out of things due to his age or attitude.  I don't want him "getting his way," so to speak, but I also don't want him to just check out and go through the ride without giving me or his own feet any thought. 

Needless to say, this is a work in progress for us.  Sometimes things were working well today (our trotting during the routine, pivoting on particular feet, circle work) and other things were not working too well (playing cow, moving out a little more, backing).  By the end of the ride we had made some nice progress from where we started.  I think that is the most important thing. That and the fact that he didn't run away with me.

I did get to ride with my new mecate again.  It softened up very, very nicely with just one soaking.  It even looks OK next to the don't-shoot-me-orange safety vest.

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