John and I went out to the barn (with Charley, of course) today to trim Boomer's back feet and hangout. It was actually a really nice day today, not too humid with temps in the low 90's. It would have been a perfect day for a ride, but I didn't want to ride in the new western saddle again because I want to send back the pad and cinch for smaller ones. So, we trimmed up his back hooves and I took him out to the round pen. As soon as I unhooked him he just started hauling balls around at the canter. When we were conditioning for the ride season this spring (grumble, maybe next year, grumble, grumble) we were doing 2-3 days per week of hard riding. Now I am riding him more often, but at much less intensity. We only walk on trail rides and in the arena we do mostly trotting with some cantering. Still, nothing near the 1.5 hours straight of trotting he is used to. So, he got to cook all his beans this afternoon and John got it on video! After a while I hopped on him bareback and walked and trotted a little. I am so impressed with how well he neck reins. I really like that because I feel like I can really stay out of his face. I think of neck reining as a reward for the horse. If he responds quickly to the rein on his neck, I stay out of his business. He ignores the neck rein, I direct rein. No harm, no foul. It sure seems more comfortable and easy to respond to the neck rein. He responds much better with the lead rope or with weighted sprit reins than with my english reins. I may switch his bridle around a little once we have access to our stuff again (oh, moving...) and see if I can give him more freedom and stay out of his face more.
Here I was asking him to reverse. I usually get halfway across the round pen from him, swing the rope and say "hup". You can see the rope in the picture and he is about to turn on the next stride. I thought it was a cool shot:
This one is cool too! I didn't realize how high he was stepping over that pole until I saw John's pics! I think he looks awesome here! As you can see, I didn't have to encourage him on at all!
After he ran around a little, I got on him for a bit bareback. Because you know how much I love to embarrass myself, here is a video of me mounting bareback!
Here is the full video with goofy commentary:
Anyhow, we walked around the barn a little and took some pictures of the place. So, hopefully this will give a good idea of how lucky we are to board Boomer here!!!
Here is the road to the trails and also the hill we park the trailers on:
The outdoor arena and bleachers. To the left is the barn, the paddocks are behind you and down the hill a little, and the road to the trailers is to the right and up the hill.
Cool tire swing by the bleachers:
Charley enjoys the shade under the tree by the outdoor:
The view from the round pen down the hill, the barn is to the right, The one in the middle is for the horses in training and hay storage, and the one on the left is an old milking barn. I really want to know what is inside, probably just really old stuff...
The indoor is attached to the barn:
The barn holds about 20 horses, has two cross ties, one wash rack, and a tack room:
The super scary wash rack:
My solution to the super scary wash rack: