Sunday, June 03, 2012


Usually this time of year I experience a bit of a lull with work and so I can do things like ride a lot and take short vacations but still stay on top of things with my clients. Not so much this year. I'm juggling more projects than ever before and I have a waiting list that is several months long.

While this is a good thing for all sorts of reasons, it's not helping me stay caught up with my blogging.


We brought everyone up to the barn at once again. They are all getting pretty used to each other now, and are content to chill at the hitching post.

I rode Steen on the strip. Our ride was quite similar to Saturday's. I rode in the snaffle, and worked a lot on short-serpentines and keeping Steen back on his haunches. We also continued to work on collection and balance. We trotted a lot of circles, and I worked on taking Steen past his comfort zone on the strip and keeping him focused even when he wanted to start to worry that we were getting too far away from our normal territory. Overall, it was a very positive ride.

After riding Steen, I worked with Laredo. We did sound groundwork and some work on the ear/head issue.


I started out working with Laredo and his ears and kept that up for a long, looooong time. We worked on dropping the head, getting the brace out of the neck, accepting contact on the forehead and poll.

We had some good moments. I worked in particular on keeping his neck softer, which in turn makes him less stiff and more accepting of contact in places he'd prefer we didn't go. There were a number of periods where he was allowing me to touch him on the poll. Of course these were interspersed with periods of irritation and backsliding. There was no doubt I pushed him a little further than we have before on this issue, and it was pretty exhausting for both of us. Still, overall I felt I managed to address the problem in a positive manner and make some progress.

Then I grabbed Steen with the intention of having a short, relaxing ride. I rode in the indoor arena, mostly because I thought the level footing would be good for short serpentines. I started in the hackamore, and I don't know if I was tired or Steen was off or if it was some combination of the two, but I couldn't get a decent short-serpentine to save my life. I got off and put the snaffle on, but things did not improve. Steen was forward, distracted, over-reactive to my legs, hard on my hands and erratic in all his gaits and responses. What was supposed to be a mellow, easy ride turned into me just trying to get something good to happen so I could get off.

I haven't had such an awful ride on Steen in months and months. I'm sure it was my fault. I think I was just too tired. I've been fairly demanding since the clinic and I've changed the way we do a few things, and trying to use the hackamore before we've really hammered out the proper method of doing a short serpentine in the snaffle was a mistake. Then I got irritated and Steen got frazzled and the rest is history.

So, it was a pretty hard day at the barn and I went home to a massive stack of fairly stressful work. On Friday, we headed to Chicago for my father-in-law's 60th birthday bash.


We got home from Chicago in the afternoon. It was a way busy weekend, and Brian and I were both too exhausted to feel like tackling a ride. However, we wanted to see the guys. We ordered a hoof supplement for Laredo last week that has a reputation for helping horses get over tender feet. It had arrived while we were out of town, so we were keen to get him going on that. We headed out just to give Bear and Laredo their supplements and check on things.

We found them looking fat and happy in the pasture. Steen lost his fly mask, but otherwise everything was in order. Laredo is growing. He's put on some length, a fair bit of girth and perhaps a little height. He was happy to eat the hoof supplement and hang out with us.

It was good to see them. I'm hoping to get a few rides in this week in spite of the crazies.

Horseback hours YTD: 59:15

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