Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Riding Red

I got rid of another bunny yesterday, so it got me another trip to the barn. It was quiet for the first time ever when I pulled in because Bobby was always my greeter, a.k.a. screamer, reminding me that he needed hay pronto. Once I walked down the aisle to Red's stall though, he started his man-scream (Red likes to think he's still a stallion and has the deepest neigh out of any horse ever) which set the other horses off. So the silence was short lived.

I fed him and the other four horses (CL's horses and CL's friend's horses) before tacking him up to longe again. He was kind of pukey in his trot to start out because a huge pile of hay was in his stall and it was hot out, but I sent him off in the canter for his three circles halfway through again and he started reaching and stretching at the trot more after that. I think I'll start incorporating that into my riding warm up since it really seems to help him loosen up. We spent most of our time on trot-walk transitions yet again, and finished off the session after ten minutes.

I jumped on him to go for a walk around one of the big fields--there are four: three equally sized and one smaller. It took us about fifteen minutes to walk around it at a big walk for half of it and a spooky/naughty walk for the other half. When we first set out, he was soo bendy and flexible in his face and neck from the longe. I played around with him a little bit while I still had it, leg yielding a few steps each way and turning his head each direction for a few strides.

He was super responsive and walking out really well until we turned to walk to the final side of the field and he spooked at some weeds that moved. All he did was a slow half spin and he walked past them fine when I asked, but his stride had shortened up and bending was no longer on his list of things to comply with. I focused on keeping him moving forward and out and finally got it when we turned up the hill to head back to the barn. I let him stretch his neck and head down, but kept him moving big....and then I realized that this is what the free walk looks like! Tah dah! Now if we can get it in the ring, hoepfully we'll do better than a sluggish 6 on our next test.

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