Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cloverleafs, Liberty and a Trail Ride

Had some non-horse things to do today, which is always tough on the weekends because I'm all about getting some good horse time on the weekend. I struggle with my own selfishness.

Anyhoo, Steve had baseball today so I woke up early, did my barn chores and haltered Gemini for some ground work and riding. His level of respect is amazing compared to Z. It makes me scratch my head. Is it because I spend less, but much better time with him?

We did some really nice ground work first. He was very connected and answering yes to all my questions. Then, I rode him in the arena - doing the cloverleaf patter for 45 mins. He never bucked during the ground work or under saddle. I then rode him down the driveway towards the road. I was curious to feel when he would start to worry about leaving home. His threshold was right about where the curve is in my driveway. We trotted back to the barn and then walked back out several times. It was actually a great session and I felt like we left things in a great place.

After some kid time, I came back and decided to play with Z. We started with Liberty and I think it might have been the best Liberty session ever with her. We worked on transitions and the spin. The spin is coming along nicely! I took our transitions to a new place by making my body turn phase 1 and the stick phase 4. That was pretty cool and she caught on fast!

We also worked on putting all 4 feet on the tired pedestal. It didn't take long before she was doing it. That was a first for us.

Afterwards, Chrissy and I decided to hit the trail. She was having a little trouble with getting Lakota consistent and maintaining his gate. She also had a grass snatcher on her hands. I tried to give her some tips and by the 2nd half of the ride, she and her horse were doing just fine. We went about 5 miles. It was a nice breezy evening and I got to see some deer and some owls.

Z was a rock solid trail horse, as she seems to be more and more all the time. She marches out, takes the lead or falls behind, doesn't snatch grass, goes the gait I ask, turns with only my body. Very cool and very proud of the partnership we've created.

More in store for tomorrow...

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