Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy Riding Face!

As one of my friends said on FB, "84 degrees, now where did I put my jacket???!!!"  The coolest evening we've had in nearly a month.  Relief from the slow-cooker may be only temporary, but it sure is welcome!

We even had a sprinkle of rain Tuesday - unfortunately not enough to do any good, but the clouds were nice.

I have a lesson on Friday and Sunny/Thunder are going so I can use the arena afterwards.  I wanted to check Sunny's leads on the lunge line in the western saddle, so after both boys were brushed & sprayed I wrapped his legs and tacked him up.

I fully expected to have to push him. 

Imagine my surprise when he flagged his tail and practically rocketed into a left(hooray!)-lead lope as soon as I sent him out.  In three strides he was galloping. Huh...  guess he was happy for the cooler weather, too. 

He was so determined to blow off steam, I let him go, offering him the option of slowing down occasionally but sending him on if he didn't respond.  He eventually came back to a high-stepping, snorty trot with his tail still in the air.  He was blowing when I asked for whoa, but still ready to bounce forward when I switched directions.

Right lead was smooth and just as quick as left, but he wore down faster. He looks so funny with his feet going that fast - patter, patter, patter!  He was one sweaty boy when I stopped him.  Since he wasn't at all inclined to walk on the line, I took him back to the trailer for his bridle and we walked the tree grove and worked on collection and bending until he stopped blowing. 

After Sunny's enthusiasm I wasn't sure what to expect level of boisterousness to expect from Thunder.  Turned out he was the one I had to push.  As always, left was smooth - like most horses, he's been ponied and led so much from that side that learning to work on the line to the left was easier for him.  He trotted around in a business-like manner, taking cues to slow and speed up, and even coasting smoothly into a lope when I kissed.  No sign of a hunch in his back, despite the stirrups banging and the back cinch (on the last hole) on the snug side of loose.  They both need to lose a few pounds!

Right... we have walk and trot down, but lope isn't there yet.  He gets the idea that he's supposed to speed up, but when I push him he tends to want to make the circle bigger.  If I resist, that pulls his head around, which he interprets as stop....  Here's where a round pen would make a HUGE difference.

Rather than continue until we were both frustrated, I concentrated on what he is getting - changes in rate and gait from walk to trot.  I think I'm going to see if I can use D's round pen and iron the wrinkles out that way.

Happy Riding Face


Kellie said...

YAY! What great fun! and fantastic that it's cooled off some. Hope you can get more riding/lessons in before the heat gets cranked back up.

SunnySD said...

Me, too!