Monday, February 21, 2011

Great Riding Weekend

I had a great weekend with the horses.

Friday evening was windy and warm. Cruiser had his best arena ride for the winter. Since it was warm, he was very settled and relaxed. He trotted in a normal manner—instead of like a Saddlebred. It was nice. Now, I am sure that it must just be excitement that is causing him to be so high headed. If I was riding him more vigorously, I think he would settle down and get to work. Since I am only trotting him less than 10 minutes a ride, he doesn’t get to that point. In the past, he usually didn’t settle on a chilly day until we trotted at least 10 minutes. Why would I expect it to be any different now? It was back to chilly the rest of the weekend, so I had trouble getting him to settle down and pay attention. My sister did video us on Sunday, and now I am sure he isn’t lame—maybe just a little stiff—which you might expect from a high-mileage 23-year-old. Also, he isn’t carrying his head as high as it seems to me in the saddle. He hasn’t been spooking hardly at all.

Cole was outstanding. Since it was windy on Friday and Saturday, we stayed on the safe end of the arena. We continued to work on straight walk departures, and he is improving dramatically. We did trotting and lots of transitions.

Now, for the exciting part—at least to me. My sister videoed me on Cole, too, and he is moving more beautifully than I imagined. About a month ago, he started doing this huge trot, and I clicked him for it. He has continued to do it, and we have been working on duration. Everyone told me it was gorgeous, and they were right. My sister has to get the video to me, and I don’t know when I will be able to get it up, but when I do, you will see what I mean. I just kept watching it on her camera over and over while we sat at Taco Bell after our riding. It has been playing in my head ever since. I never imagined this was in him when I bought him. I didn’t see it at the breeder, didn’t see it once I had him and turned him out to play and only saw tiny glimpses of it when I lounged him.

Interestingly, both my sister and boyfriend told me that his paddling disappears when he trots like this.

Since it wasn’t windy on Sunday, we did venture to the scary end of the arena. He was fine on the short end after our good lesson last week. He was still funny on the wall approaching that end, so I thought I would repeat the short end lesson on the wall. We walked along it, and I asked him to put his head down and clicked him for it. After a few laps, I added trotting, asked him to put his head down and clicked for it. It didn’t take long, and I was trotting laps with his head down and his mind focused on me and not out the windows. It seemed like such a miracle to me. He was doing his lovely trot all around the arena.

Unfortunately, they are predicting high winds for this evening, and I don’t know if I will have the backbone to try it with the doors flapping about. We shall see…


achieve1dream said...

Awesome!! Sounds like the perfect weekend all around. :)

I'm so happy Cruiser is better and starting to settle in.

I can't wait to see the video of Cole's trot. :D I'm so excited.

I'm glad you had such a fun weekend.

achieve1dream said...

Duh! I didn't even think to click him while I was laying across his back! I'll have to do that next time. How often do you think it would be okay to lay across his back? He'll be two in May, he's fifteen hands tall, he has soreness in one hock from the club foot, I'm 5'11" and 140lbs. I don't know how much is too much, or how long, or if I should let him walk at all. I don't want to hurt him, but I would like to practice that kind of stuff occasionally. Should I wait until he's closer to three? Sorry I'm rambling. I'm still pretty excited that he did so well. :)