Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Triple Digits

Today I logged my hundreth hour in the saddle for the year. Of course loads of people ride a whole lot more than that, but considering 100 hours was our goal for last year, I feel good about being here in August.

I rode Laredo. With our little time out of town, the trail rides we've been doing and a few other factors, it had actually been nearly two weeks since I rode Laredo. I was curious to see what he felt like.

It's interesting to see the way he's learning things. Lately he seems like he's either on or off. If he's paying attention, he moves off your legs and hands like a dream. But he's prone to lapses of focus, so he vacillates from super responsive to just not there at all.

Today, the first half of our ride was incredible. When I got on he was super attuned to me. He was staying between my legs and hands without any reminders from me, and we moved around like that for about half an hour. Then I took a break and sat on him for a while, watching Brian ride. When I'm riding I often do this. I just sit for a minute or two and think about what we've done so far and what I'm going to work on. It allows me to collect my thoughts, assess where we're at and come up with a plan for the rest of the ride.

But with Laredo lately it seems to backfire. After our stop he was a little more inclined to be distracted. He wasn't bad, but it wasn't the same as earlier in the ride. He was a lot more inclined to freeze up and chew on the bit when I asked him to back up or step over. Still, we got a lot done. He's getting more and more comfortable and balanced at the trot, and he seems to enjoy trotting, so we did a fair bit of just moving around.

Ride Time: 0:55
Horseback hours YTD: 100:35

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