Sunday, June 05, 2011

Steen the Sluggish

It's been hot. It's definitely been having an effect on every body's energy level. We went out today to find the pasture herd just hanging out by the water,

We tacked up in the barn aisle to get out of the sun for a bit, then headed out to the pasture. Things started off poorly with Steen. He was distracted and inclined to try to choose his own direction. He was also super sluggish, and just not interested in putting much energy into the ride.

Still, we trotted around for a while. Steen was paying so little attention to where he was putting his feet that he kept tripping, then getting upset about having tripped. He also had a pretty noticeable Bear magnet effect going on. Any time we turned away from Bear, his hindquarters would trail out behind him. Any time we turned towards Bear, he'd turn sharply.

We kept it up though. Eventually I found a more level piece of ground and just worked on gait transitions between the walk and trot in a large circle. These started out bad but slowly transformed into being pretty good. Steen was so sluggish he was more than willing to slow down most of the time, which I used to my advantage.

There were a couple of times that he clicked over into "trot no matter what" mode. A couple of times I had to pull him down from his defiant little jog four or five times in a row before he would cool it. And the funny thing is, he was doing this because he wanted to stop. He was always the worst about this after I let him stand for a while, then made him start working again. Not the most logical behavior. But then, Steen is a horse, afterall. Logic is clearly not his strong point.

But he was actually being quite good by the end, so I suppose I can't be too hard on him.

Brian had a pretty good ride on Bear. They have been spending quite a bit of time at the lope, and Bear is trim and fit these day.

Horseback hours YTD: 33:55

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