Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cold Snap


We had a few days of pretty chilly temps, but on Tuesday Brian and I decided to ride anyway. It wasn't that cold, according to the thermometer, but the wind was just bitter. Both herds were riled up when we arrived, particularly the stall herd was just tearing around in their pasture. We tacked up indoors and went outside to mount. Steen had that wired felling he sometimes gets, but was actually very good at standing and listening. We didn't push our boundaries since Brian's wrist is still bothering him and everyone was already keyed up. We rode in the outdoor arena. I've been continuing to work on teaching Steen to disengage his hindquarters in response to only a leg cue, which is turning out to be a really great thing for him since particularly when he's antsy he's inclined to respond to any touch with "forward" or "faster." We also trotted a fair bit and he was going nicely with that. I've also been paying a lot of attention to addressing "magnet" issues with firmness at low speeds, so even when he only mildly veers towards Bear at the walk or the trot, he gets an immediate correction. I can already tell this is helping. I have to correct him every now and then instead of constantly keeping a medium amount of pressure on to keep him going where I want.

The only part of the ride that was pretty bad and surprising was when I decided to lope. I mostly wanted to warm myself up a little, and Steen actually moved into it fine, but after about a lap he just started to pick up speed and feel kind of out of control. When I tried to collect him he just went more vertical and put on more speed. It wasn't what I felt like dealing with just then, so I pulled him down to the walk and we did a bunch of short serpentines and more focused work. I think he was just charged up by the atmosphere and the cold.

Ride Time: 0:30
Horseback hours YTD: 83:35

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