Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Softening Laredo

Today was the first time Laredo approached me in the pasture. I stopped to pet Nadir, and he walked right up to me. I even slipped the halter on, and probably could have gotten it tied if I hadn't hurried a little. When my hand got up by his eye, he pulled back. I kept after him and got the halter on moments later, but it wasn't quite the perfect catch.

We've seen what I think is a little bit of back-sliding with the ear issue the last few days, so today I wanted to address it more directly than we have been lately. After tacking we adjourned to the outdoor arena, and I started with normal groundwork, then switched to flipping the end of the mecate rhythmically up over Laredo's head and ears, then removing it. He didn't like this, of course, but I stuck with it for several minutes on each side, until he was standing with his head a bit lower. Then we did some more flexes and I mounted.

Laredo's back is starting to feel like a more familiar place. We started out with flexes, which overall were much softer than my last ride.

From there we walked around a bit, and that went ok. So far Laredo seems to have a bit of a reluctance to step out. I'm so used to Steen (who always goes slightly faster than you want him to) this is sort of a new challenge for me. I worked on wiggling my feet and getting some energy in my body until he picked up the pace, then sat still. I think we made a little progress here.

We also spent a lot of time on short serpentines. Brian clearly made a ton of headway on this yesterday, so Laredo was quite soft for me.

Towards the end of the ride I decided to try the trot again. This started out ok, but Laredo was very erratic. I was trying to post but he was having trouble getting into much of a rhythm. He also seemed a bit ouchy on his front feet. I think his soles might need some more time to toughen up for bearing a rider. So we didn't work on that for long.

Overall, it was a highly positive ride. I think it was the first ride I've had on Laredo that was actually fun. He didn't feel so resentful this time and it seemed like more things were making more sense to him. When I took the halter off in the pasture, all he wanted to do was follow me around. So I think he's getting used to us.

Of course, now he's going to get five days off. We'll see what state he's in when we get back.

Ride Time: 0:40
Horseback hours YTD: 54:45

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