Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The last ride of July

We rode in the morning again today. The horses were all out on the hilltop in the pasture when we arrived, and everyone was a bit revved because two horses were moved from the stall herd to the pasture herd. Bear led a charge down the hill to see us, and it was neat to watch the variety of horses move down the incline.

I rode Steen in the hackamore today. My main goal for the ride was to work on holding the soft feel while we are moving, and continuing to focus on non-demanding movements to help with this. Steen's feet are in bad shape and one in particular is worn on one side on long on the other (the farrier comes on Sunday). So I wanted to keep things slow and mellow anyway.

I started out working on riding with no hands like last time, but instead of getting annoyed when Steen ignored my left leg, I gave a gentle twitch of the rein and praised him when he yielded. Before long he was paying a lot more attention to my legs, and I was able to set the reins down for a while.

I moved from there into working on leg-yields, which have been the thing that translated the worst from the snaffle to the hackamore. Today I was prepared to be patient and build this up slowly, but Steen surprised me. He was soft, willing to collect and step across from the first time I asked.

We went from there to working on leg-yields at the trot, and these went quite well also. Then we went back to the walk and I worked on rocking forward and back, walking forward 10 steps, then back 10 steps, then forward 9 steps, then back 9 steps, etc.. By the last few steps Steen was holding a soft feel through the transitions. So that was awesome. I think he's also finally got the sidepass pretty well figured out. I worked on getting him to move a little faster and with larger steps both in that and yielding the forequarters.

Laredo was a bit worn out during Brian's ride today. We'll have to measure him after he gets his feet trimmed on Sunday. I think he's grown some more. His back is also getting longer, and he's looking a bit more mature all around. Of course he still behaves like a total goof, but from a distance he can look adult-like sometimes.

Ride Time: 1:00
Horseback hours YTD: 91:30

1 comment:

  1. Ahh, the famous sets of 10 forward and back, 9 forward and back... It's awesome you work at it. So many people only do it in a clinic setting. It's amazing that when you keep working at it, your horse gets more and more responsive. I think it's very cool you have your husband with you in this journey.


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