Saturday, February 16, 2013

Feeling Good

Again we got out to the barn early in the morning.  And it was pretty cold.  This week it got really nice, but we were busy with work stuff.  So this morning's 11 degrees felt pretty chilly.

Thankfully the pasture has improved some.  It is still full of frozen lumps, but they are more rounded and not quite as hard as they used to be.  Also, there is only one major frozen puddle now.  We arrived to find all three of our guys soaking up the sun behind the windblock.

Bear was quite tight coming in.  When we turned him loose with Laredo, he took quite a few minutes before he rolled, and then he walked around for a while longer before they finally started moving freely and kicking it up a bit.  We could easily see Bear was moving better in the lope than the trot, but each time he started going faster, he looked better.  That was a good sign.

When I climbed on he was still stiff, and like our last ride, I just took it slow.  We spent almost 20 minutes doing some gradual serpentines, going forward and backwards, pivoting on all four feet, and just getting loose.

He started feeling good so I asked for the trot.  It was the first ride all winter that he didn't hop and kick out a little.  So we moved into the lope and it was really smooth.  He was attentive to my seat and legs and seemed to be really happy to be moving around.  We went back and forth in each direction and every lap was smooth and fun.

Half way through the ride I grabbed a couple of cones and we set them up to play cow.  We didn't play long, but we had fun.  The first round Laredo was the 'horse' and Bear and I were the 'cow.'  We were doing alright, but Laredo was getting a little sluggish.  When we switched it up, though, Robin really livened Laredo up and we had a great little session.  He was trotting and loping in nice, tight circles, stopping well, and backing with enthusiasm.  So that kind of ended the ride.  We always look for nice endings with Laredo.

Even though it is still quite cold, I'm hoping being half way through February means Bear will have more good days than bad days.  It will probably also help us get out to the barn a little more.  I'm ahead of where I was this time last year, but with the lofty goal of 200 hours in the saddle, I should start picking it up soon.

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