Sunday, July 31, 2011

Three Bay Geldings

This morning our friend Gay was out tacking up Doc at the same time we were getting our boys ready. It was already hot and extremely humid, so Brian and I had decided to ride in the stall horse pasture with all the big shade-creating trees. We invited Gay to ride with us.

We led our three mounts out to the pasture. They are all bay Quarter Horse geldings. (Except Steen is half white and he's technically a Paint, not a Quarter Horse) which was kind of funny. The pasture is pretty good sized, so we walked the perimeter a few times, then decided to play follow the leader. I started out in the lead and Steen was very willing to trot along and go where I pointed him. Then I rolled back and Gay led for a while. Steen got a big more excited following, but was good about not running up on Doc's heels or anything. Finally Bear took his turn in the lead, and his trot is faster, so I let Steen extend his trot a bit and practiced my posting.

We then took a little break, letting the horses stand in the shade. Steen was being really good, so I took him to the clear space in the middle of the pasture where Meryl and I worked on the routine. I trotted him in a circle, then asked for the lope. He was completely unprepared, and instead of picking it up broke into a really fast, uncontrolled trot. I pulled him up and got him to focus enough to ask again. That time he did pick up the lope but he was a LOT less relaxed than yesterday. He felt like he was loping really fast and I had a whole lot of contact on his mouth.

I got a few marginal circles out him, then switched directions. He was better to the right, though still far from great. He was less obsessed with the idea of trying to run back to the other horses and more willing to lope at a more moderate pace.

After the lope he was riled, but I just made him trot around through the trees until he relaxed. While I was doing that Doc and Gay worked at the lope a bit, then Bear and Brian did. None of the horses did all that well, so at least I wasn't the only one.

We finished the ride with another meander around the pasture. Steen was completely willing to walk with his buddies, so by the time I got off he was back to being super mellow. All in all, it was a great ride. It was fun to do something completely different and with another horse in the mix.

Horseback hours YTD: 49:10


  1. >Steen got a bit more excited following,

    Huh, whichever of my guys is "in front" (not always physically in front, but "leading") is usually the more excited/alert. The horse that's "behind" is usually pretty mellow. I always figured it had to do with the leader being the one on the lookout for danger.

    I wonder what makes the difference there.

  2. I agree most horses seem more calm when behind other horses, but Steen is a strange one. In this case I think what makes him more riled up following is he's wanting to make sure he doesn't fall behind, so when I make him keep a respectable horse-length back, it can make him antsy. But that's just my theory. :)


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