Thursday, March 5, 2009

Long ride

WooHoo 82* weather!!! Way to make my day!!!

Boomer and I had a nice long ride today! We worked out in the open area by the big pasture. It is probably an acre in size and sort of triangular in shape. We warmed up at the walk and did our usual circles and leg yields. I noticed that he was really evasive and bendy at the top of the area because he was trying to look at the cows. That was something we had to work on for the whole hour long ride. It was kind of a 'I want to see them, but I don't want to seem interested' sort of bendy sidestepping action.

We worked on LOTS of trotting today and I was really happy with him. He was stretching down frequently and being very good. He would get a little sloppy when the wind would blow, especially from behind. The wind was pretty strong today, probably upwards of 25mph. We did lots of trotting for 10 minutes or more at a time to start building stamina. We worked at either the trot or canter the whole time with only walking to warm up and cool down. I was impressed with him for lasting so well through an hour of intense exercise.

We worked on cantering again and I was happier with it today than I was yesterday. He has the 'go and woah' part down, it is just the steering that is lacking. At the risk of sounding like I am complaining, I don't feel like our cantering is coming along as well as it could if we had a nice large arena to work in. The fenced area is too small, the partially fenced and larger space is BAD footing, and the largest area is not fenced at all and not uniformly shaped. Today we got a few good laps at the canter but I can feel him hesitate and not want to go round a corner, then he kind of blasts through sideways and drops to the trot. It was either that or dropping to the trot as soon as he felt my rein open into the contact as a guiding rein for the turn. I really had to urge him through the corners. I know that rather than complain I should make do with what I have and we will be better off for it. On a good note though, Once going to the right we had a really great lap around the area where his ears were forward, he was accepting contact and almost relaxing into it and I felt like I had full directional control. It was awesome. I even got to ask him to trot, rather than him dropping out of it on his own!

He got pretty sweaty and I cooled him out by walking shapes and working on neck reining. He is doing pretty good with that. He responds better to the left rein and I wonder if his thick mane gets in the way of feeling the right rein? After we cooled out, I put his cooler on him since it was so windy and let him munch hay while I did other chores.

I got floor mats for the trailer in the mail yesterday and I laid one out over his platform and fed him on it. At first he wouldn't go near it and walked away. I was concerned that he wasn't worried about his food. So, I picked up his feed pan and he walked right across the paddock for a bite. I backed up as he was eating and he walked up to the platform and snorted at it a bit, then stepped on with two feet. I set the pan down and got aside and he walked the rest of the way on like it was no big deal!

I am really happy with how well he is coming along and I really look forward to working on our training more this spring and summer! Doing the post of all of the rides for this season really got me amped and ready to ride!!! I don't want to plan on it or anything, but I have to admit- I'm looking at the 2010 Tevis Cup.

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