Saturday, October 20, 2012

Catch-up: Laredo

One of the downsides of the whole Steen saga is my little sprint to and from the pasture appears to have gotten my old foot injury reaggravated, so I've been a bit laid up just like my horse has. Yesterday Brian very kindly went out in the rain to catch Laredo for me, to save me from a hike out into the pasture.

Since Bear's been staying in the outdoor arena with Steen and we've been trying to give Laredo plenty of rest to let his shoulder recover, we haven't seen much of our three-year-old lately. I was actually a bit surprised at how happy I was to see him when a dripping Brian led him into the indoor arena.

He's as goofy and teenaged as ever, but Brian told me how he left the running herd to come to Brian, deftly maneuvering himself through traffic to walk up and accept the halter. Maybe he missed us too.

On Friday I rode him in the indoor arena. I was expecting a bit of backsliding, but there really wasn't much. He's still super duper soft to the bit. I don't even get past the slobber straps before he's dipping his chin. I did groundwork with him before I mounted and he wasn't favoring his shoulder at all, but still I wanted to keep the ride light.

We spent 55 minutes dinking around the indoor. We got to experience some excitement, from other boarders bringing cones out to the four-wheeler and manure spreader driving through. He was great for all of it, and although I think his responsiveness to the legs has decreased slightly, all in all the ride was great. We walked circles and figure-eights, backed half circles, moved the front around the hind, disengaged the hindquarters and worked on holding the soft feel for multiple consecutive steps at the walk.

Today I rode him on the strip. We again kept things light and only at the walk, and although he was soft to the bit he was a little more distracted. Once he got curious about a piece of farm equipment and started trucking off towards it. I had to remind him that I was on his back and he does not, in fact, do the steering when I'm riding him.

After some work on the strip, Brian and I did a little jaunt around the soybean fields. Laredo was quite happy to head out. I think he missed our little excursions. It felt great to be on his back again.

We got back to the strip and let Laredo and Bear graze for a while, then I went back in to grab Steen so he could join in the family bonding time. It was pretty fabulous to hang out with our three guys in the sun.

Horseback hours YTD: 127:45

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