Saturday, January 17, 2009

A gorgeous Saturday in January

Today I finally got horse time. It's been since last Sunday (6 days ago). My dumb job was insane this week and then I had to take a last minute trip to Atlanta. Work does really get in the way of horses.

So, there was manure everywhere, horse chores were desperately behind, and it was warm like Spring. Thankfully, the kids were ok with hanging out together while I got some horses moving. I started with Nina. I had opened the trailer door and the horses were all out while I tried to catch up the manure. Nina was so cute and went in and out of the trailer all by herself. Cowboy jumped in it, but then he decided that was a dumb idea and got on out. It was entertaining stuff while I mucked.

A few horses need trims, but I wasn't about to mess with hooves today. I got Nina out of the trailer and put the saddle on her. She was great about the saddle. Then, I took her into the arena after a few minutes with my obstacles. She worked hard (over-worked) again, but less than the previous sessions. I really expect that in the next session or two, she's going to be in the game. For now, she's still showing some extreme extroversion. Her sideways has come along nicely and her squeeze game looks good. I didn't try the figure 8 today - I decided to simply try to get our games better. She has moments of total haul-ass, which make me laugh but can also give me little rope burns. I try to focus on the slide grip and I've gotten pretty good at it. Sometimes though, her haul-ass seems to come out of nowhere. Her circle game is better, but she still gets bracey at times and wants to cook with gas faster than necessary. She can gallop on a 30 ft circle - pretty amazing. She's an extremely athletic LBE.

Then, I spent some time riding Z. We went to the front pasture, I worked on riding her well and my own stuff (my form, following her shoulders) while we w/t/c around. We also did some galloping! Dang, that horse is fast! I got some flowing and beautiful-feeling half-passes, sidepasses, shoulders in and haunches in. She was a little pepped up and she gets very vertical when she's want to go forward. Then, I took her into the arena and we worked on our 20m circle. She was happy to canter nicely on the 2om, which was surprising. We're working on maintaining rhythm in each gait on the 20m circle and this was our best day yet. She stayed on the circle at the canter and I was able to really sit her the best I could. We also worked on transitions and a few times, when I asked her to walk from the canter and she had a hard time, I took her in tight circles. I haven't used the tactic on her in a long time and it was just what she needed. Our canter-walk transitions were much better after that. She was a good girl today - full of energy and go.

Lastly for today, Cowboy. We did some groundwork and he's just coming along so nicely. It's really time to focus on some of the specific L2 groundwork. I'm thinking also that I might film he and I in the next month or so and pass our L2. Then, he could be touted as a L3 horse - officially. He could easily manage the L2 tasks in a short time. That would be cool. His sideways looks pretty nice on the rail - time to get off the rail and progress. I didn't groundwork him for long before I hopped on. I practiced lateral flexion with him, trying to get his neck to relax more. He's very, very stiff in his neck. He's actually very stiff in his whole body. I then did a few laps of walk/trot transitions. He was actually fairly agreeable to that. Then, we worked on snaky bends, but we only turned to the new direction when that direction was soft. That was when I realized just how stiff he is. He literally couldn't really flex into the turn. I imagine it's his mind that has the brace and his body is following. I don't think he's physically stiff. However, we are going to focus on snaky bends and see if I can get him to relax some and let his body flex. He did really well and I learned some things today about where to go next with him.

I have to get out of my day job somehow. I need to financially plan this weekend.

Anyway, I do still love my life, just not the weeks where my job wins. Tomorrow, Rain and Gemini.

Nina: 2 hrs
Z: 1.5 hrs
Cowboy: 1.5 hrs

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