Wednesday, April 15, 2009

That feeling

Our ride today went well. It took about 30 minutes for him to relax. The first part of our ride is usually with him trying to strong trot and not paying much attention to where I point him. So, we struggle, I hang on his mouth a little too much (I'm working on it!), and he tosses his head. After that switch is flipped and he relaxed, I can open my hands and he starts lowering his head and stretching. He slows down a bit, but still wants to strong trot occasionally. I like to let him strong trot as long as he is relaxed and paying attention. There is a huge difference in his strong trot in the first part and second part of our ride. I think that is interesting. We worked on cantering today. We did a few straight lines through the pasture and a few circles. His circles to the right are much better than the left. Thats okay, he is still learning. The last 10 minutes of the ride he was calm enough to have a loose rein at the sitting trot, so we worked on neck reining. I am using my big thick split reins until my new english laced reins get here in the mail. I don't like the split reins because they are too big to get my hands around, but apparantly they send a clear message for neck reining! Go figure! We did lots of figure eights and he really learned/responded quickly! I walked him back towards the gate and did a zig zag along the way with neck reining. He was very good even though he really wanted to go home!

I try to do nice things for him after we ride. I always loosen the girth as soon as I get off. I let him grab a few bites of the tall grass from the hay field as I open and shut the barbed wire gate. I scratch his face after I unbridle him. I never let him rub on me, but I will rub and scratch him as much as he wants. He gets soaked beet pulp while I groom him.

Today, he thanked me.

As we came in the gate to his paddock, he paused to rub his forehead on the gate after I closed it. I knew he was itchy, so I got his bridle off and left his halter around his neck while I rubbed him. I rubbed his ears, eyes, cheeks, chin. As I got to his left side and was rubbing his cheek, he nickered. My jaw almost dropped. He occasionally nickers when he sees me coming with his feed scoop. I do not try to fool myself, I know he is nickering for the food-not me. But today, he nickered at me while I scratched his face. I was thanking him for a job well done and he nickered at me. That gave me a feeling that I just can't get anywhere else.

1 comment:

Shanster said...

Awwww - that is wunnerful!