Sunday, August 14, 2011

Two Good Horses

Yesterday I made the comment that Brian and I never seem to both have good horses on the same day. Today our fellas proved me wrong.

Of course, Brian went out with a plan, prepared to be firm with Bear and with a simple strategy to work on during the ride. After Bear's mini-buck last ride Brian did some hard groundwork with Bear, after which we traded horses and Brian rode Steen for a little while and I did more very demanding groundwork with Bear and also rode him around a little. So I think Bear already knew he screwed up. Today he seemed contrite from the very beginning.

We got them tacked and out to the second pasture with ease. My goal for the day was to move through all three gaits three times, spending a significant chunk of time at each gait each time. So we started out walking around the pasture and Steen was awesome. Then we trotted around for quite a while and he was giving me his nice jog and paying so much attention I was basically controlling his direction with my sit bones and the occasional touch of my calf. Our first lope was fantastic. He was fast for only a few seconds and then he was content to lope along on a loose rein. I experimented with taking him down some of the steeper parts of the pasture and changing the shape of our circle and he was up for all of it. Then we went back to walking, and after only one time picking up the trot, he relaxed and returned to quietly walking circuits on the fence.

Meanwhile Bear was a different horse for Brian today. No hint of his sour attitude and not so much as a head toss, much less a buck. Brian got in a lot of good trotting and several minutes of a smooth lope as well.

My plan worked out well. After the first cycle through the gaits Steen was a bit more inclined to be goey, but I was able to get him to settle into each gait each time I asked for it with very little difficulty. Finally, we let the horses cool down walking side by side for a while. The weather has been fabulous the last few days, and we rode along with a nice breeze blowing the horses' manes under blue skies. A very nice ride indeed.

Ride Time: 1:00
Horseback hours YTD: 52:45

2 comments:

  1. Well, after reading your last post, I was going to say that I often felt the same way. Only one horse can be good on any given day, and I just try to make sure that's the one I ride. :)

    But, in reality, mine are both good pretty frequently. Sometimes one is particularly good, or particularly frustrating, which by comparison makes the other one seem really bad or really good (respectively). But, most of the time they're both pretty well into the "reasonably well-behaved" category.

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  2. Yeah, I think you're right. If one horse is really good the other seems a bit off by comparison. Also they just go through phases. All spring Steen was just frustrating while Bear was in a Mr. Perfect phase. Now they've kind of flipped. I guess that's the way horses are though -- always changing for better or worse.

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