Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Some Interesting Rides

It's been quite a week at the barn.

Our friend Jean came out to take some photos of us and the horses. She got some nice shots of us hanging around on the second strip.

And our first ever "family photo."

The horses were in their winter lot with bales to munch on, so we shut them in and rode through the big pasture to the middle one where we like to ride. Steen was pretty good, though a bit more energetic than he's been lately. He was good getting to and from the middle pasture and he was really pretty awesome about everything except he did want to pick up the trot some. I worked him through it, then reverted to short serpentines and finally Brian and I worked on backing half-circles around each other, which Steen was surprisingly good at.
Ride Time: 1:10

The horses were already confined to the winter lot when we arrived (due to some mud and rain), so we just decided to avail ourselves of the big pasture. We walked down to the far bottom corner and stayed there to work on backing half circles for a while. Steen was good when he was listening but had occasional fits of temper during which he would make bids for doing something else. I tried to stay patient and he did give me some awfully nice backing and standing. He also gave me some crazy head tossing and jigging in place.

We headed up to the top of the hill and things went downhill while we tried to walk from one place to another. Steen just wanted to trot. Every time he picked up the jog, I asked him to stop and give me a soft feel. He'd do it most of the time, but sometimes he'd scoot backwards instead, sometimes he'd just stand there working the bit. It was not my favorite manifestation of his temperament. But we made it to the top of the hill and once there had some excellent precision work. These were the answers Steen was giving me to my ques:  Stand still long periods of time: sure. Yield hindquarters: of course. Yield forequarters: perfect. Back: awesome. Flex: sure thing. Trot: just fine. Walk anywhere: no way. *sigh

So it was a bit of a trying ride but it is interesting that some of his classic rough spots were not apparent. Usually when he won't walk, he won't stand either.
Ride Time: 1:10

Another ride in the big pasture. Initially, Steen was better, although seriously bothered by some flies at first. We did a little bit of backing in the corner, then went up to the hill and did more up there. Steen was very responsive through this. Then I did some trotting and he was excited at first but settled in nicely. Then we loped around for a while and other than a bit of a barn magnet, that went well. We did awesome short serpentines, a lot of good yielding of various parts. Then we decided to go home and once again the walk was beyond Steen. It took us about fifteen minutes to get from the hilltop to the barn simply because I was having to stop Steen every five steps and asking him to stop and give me a soft feel because he'd picked up the trot.

We even tried to trot the last section home, but he was doing this bizarre half prance vertical thing and snorting every step that it didn't feel productive at all. So once we got back near the gate I made him work in circles until he was behaving halfway normal. Then we went in and did some groundwork.

Again today, he was great at everything but walking. I'm not sure what to make of these last two rides. I guess time will tell.
Ride Time: 1:05

Horseback hours YTD: 73:15

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