Thursday, July 21, 2011

Beating the heat

After watching the weather last night, I knew I was either going to have to skip riding or get my ass out of bed before eight. Bobby's canter drove me out of bed a six and I was at the barn tacking up by seven. It was 83 when I got, but there was a little breeze and it actually only felt uncomfortably warm at the walk. Needless to say, we did alot of walking. I put the draw reins on between his front legs today to really make him work. He also tried on his new royal blue saddle pad I got for $15 for his eventing debut. I think he looked pretty cute.

blue suits you, mr magee!

I warmed him up alternating between the walk and trot in both directions, not really doing too much bending yet. After twenty minutes, I started asking him to collect a little more and adding in some 20m circles each way. It took him a little bit to figure out the new set up with the reins, but once he did he actually went much better than with them to the side. He also got bending to the left at the trot quicker; whether this was because of the new way the reins were or because he was looser today, I don't know--but I liked it.

We had a water/walk break before doing a few w/t transitions to turn his brain back on. Because the BN test is trot to canter to trot, I asked him for the canter from the trot to the right. He rushed forward into a fast trot the first couple of times I asked him so I brought him back to a normal trot before trying again. I think those transitions between the trot actually helped because when he did get the canter, it was awesome! Very uphill and balanced, and he did the 20m circle perfectly. I couldn't have asked Red to do it better! Something to keep in mind..... To the left, we had the same issue, but only twice. His 20m canter that way super, too, so I took the plunge and ran through the BN test.

someone decided bathtime rocks when it's so hot out.

I had to run through the trot circle an extra time in each direction because he didn't get the canter transition, but when he got it to the left it was so fabulous. He was getting tired by the end and he started to lean on the draw reins and get heavy on his forehand for the trot circle to the right so his canter wasn't as great that way because I was just trying to hold him together enough to finish the test. I am feeling more confident about Bucks now. I think in two and a half weeks we'll be in good shape for the test. What I'm learning from him is that he'll need a really intensive warm up before his tests to help him bending and collecting, but still being careful not to cross the line on tiring him out.

While I was riding Bobby, Red was turned out in the big paddock by himself. Halfway through, he decided he was bored and took off like a total lunatic galloping and bucking all around the paddock. I don't know if he got stung or bit by something, but he was at it for a good five minutes. When he was done, he trotted up to the gate and let out a big snort, then looked over to see if we were impressed. We were not, though it was fun to watch him in racehorse mode. He walked off and started grazing again when no one came to fawn over him. Sorry, Red. I was too beat and he was sweating like he'd been swimming after that so I gave him a bath and he got off the hook again. I think my gameplan for him is going to be long, slow trot/canter work with him in the field so he doesn't get sour, but he still starts building himself up again.

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