Saturday, November 17, 2012

Return of the Double Ride Day

Today I got to use my new mecate. And I have to say, it looks pretty darn good on Laredo. It felt good too. The mane hair just has so much more life than the nylon I've been using on my snaffle. I particularly noticed it during groundwork. There was a lot more energy to the communication.

Things went well once I got on too. I only rode Laredo for half an hour today. His energy level was good and the return to more consistent work is already having an impact. He's starting to trade in the hay belly for better muscles in his haunch and shoulder, and he's feeling stronger underneath me again.

We spent most of the ride at the walk and trot, but at the end I took him down the strip for a lope. He is a fast learner, and he must have been able to tell from my body language that I intended to take him down to the drainage, turn him and lope him back up. He walked slower and slower the closer we got to the drainage, and right before we turned he stopped walking entirely. I encouraged him through the stall with my heels and got him pointed up the strip again. Then he didn't want to go. He dragged along at the trot and only finally picked up the lope for about three strides and dropped it again.

I gave him brief rest (because a try is all we're looking for at this point), then turned him to go down the strip again. He stopping walking and refused to go forward before we were even halfway down. I gave him a few medium nudges with my legs, but he was wadded up enough I thought too much heel might make him buck. So I took the end of my new mecate and experimented. It's a tad longer than my old one, and it turns out I can reach his butt with it.

I started with just a flick of my wrist that resulted in a very soft pop, and it was a good thing I didn't start with more because Laredo spurted forward straight into a trot. I went with that, and trotted him to the drainage, turned him and asked for the lope.

He shot into the lope like I've never felt before. I gave him his head and let him run. He went all the way up to the top and I let him stop near Brian and Bear. Then I just hopped right off. I figure getting off his back is the biggest reward I can offer him for putting out all that energy for me.

I handed Laredo to Brian, took Bear back to the pasture and got Steen. We had another nice ride. It was considerably colder today than it has been the last two days though, and the cold always makes Steen lively. He was a bit more unsure about the fertilizer tanks and overall a little more touchy than the last two days, but his behavior was excellent so I can't be too critical of him. His leg is still looking good and I continue to think the light rides are helping with the healing.

Back in the pasture, I took a photo of Laredo and Brian, just to prove we haven't let our three year old turn into a marshmellow.

Ride Time: 1:00
Horseback hours YTD: 139:35

1 comment:

  1. So happy Steen is on the mend for you. Love that you loped Laredo. He is a match to my Butter but I think he isn't as naughty as she is! LOL.


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