Saturday, July 28, 2012

Trot Time

Yesterday our pasture herd got a new member. A 3 year old solid Paint gelding named Tate arrived, and he and Laredo hit it off immediately. Today they were hanging out when we got to the barn, and Tate was pretty inclined to follow us out of the pasture. We persuaded him to stay behind.

It was my day for Laredo, and I was pleased he was considerably less fidgety at the hitching post than last time. He was so quiet during tacking and grooming, in fact, that I decided to try to slip the bridle on the "right" way, rather than unbuckle it like we have been doing. He took the bit just fine, in spite of the altered position of my hands. Then when I went to ease his ear forward and through the headstall, he pulled away. I gave him a minute and tried again, but by then he was looking at me with some alarm, so I decided to save that victory for another day. I unbuckled the bridle and rebuckled it behind his ears.

Out on the strip I again worked a little harder on groundwork than I have our last few rides. I took him to another strip that runs perpendicular to the one we usually ride on, and is fairly scary as it is lined in trampolines and various other kinds of playground equipment, and also silos and farm equipment. I thought this slightly more stressful environment might make the groundwork a bit more challenging. And it did, but I managed to get Laredo's attention and keep it, and we got quite a lot done.

By the time I mounted, Laredo was in a very attentive frame of mind. We walked off and almost immediately got a few no-handed figure-eights that were better than the ones I was getting out of Steen yesterday. Laredo was also very soft to the bit, both laterally and vertically.

We went through all our exercises, and everything just felt great. I think Laredo is actually starting to enjoy his job lately as it becomes comprehensible for him.

After walking around for a while, we moved into trotting and this was by far the best ride we've ever had for trotting. Not only was he good about picking it up and staying in it, I didn't feel him take a single tender step. He also just felt light off my reins and legs, and though there were a couple times he got distracted, he always came back without much trouble.

Of course we did nearly trot straight into the bean field once...

...but most of the time he went right where I asked.

Ride Time: 1:00
Horseback hours YTD: 89:00

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