Friday, June 03, 2011

New Headgear

It's been hot, and the flies are out in earnest now. There were a few rides last summer when the flies on his face got Steen pretty riled up and irritated. The last time I rode part of Steen's distraction seemed due to flies. I ordered him a fly mask that attaches to his headstall a few weeks ago, but today I finally put it on..

I'll be the first to admit it makes him look pretty funny. However, it definitely seemed to do the trick. He spent a lot less time shaking his head.

He was much better behaved in general today. We rode in the pasture again, and I was again staying focused on using one-rein stops and flexing to the bit to soften him up. He showed a marked decrease in his desire to pick up the trot unasked, and he was also more willing to come back to the walk with less persuasion when he did pick it up. He was also trotting very nicely, slow, with his head down, doing a pretty good job engaging his shoulders and haunches.

The main thing he was doing that wasn't great was being somewhat opinionated about where he wanted to go. I think it was partially the slope in the pasture and partly perhaps because it is a space he sometimes lives in. We'd be riding along and suddenly he'd decide he wanted to go somewhere else.

He wasn't insistent about it though. Usually I could dissuade him with just a little shift of my sit-bones and a little leg.

It wasn't actually much of a ride. All four of us were hot and tired. Steen and I spent about 45 minutes shifting between walking around, jogging around and standing around.

After we turned the boys back out in the pasture, we stopped to play with Whisper a bit. He is getting larger and bolder. He will approach a person with only a little hesitation and doesn't mind being touched like he used to. He will sometimes yield to pressure, and is rather a biter. But I guess at that age such things are to be expected.

Horseback hours YTD: 31:55

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