Thursday, June 9, 2011

If you can't stand the heat--go riding

Hot rides last night!

I took Cruiser on trail. Due to the bugs, I tried a new thing on our ride. We trotted and cantered until we got to the next river crossing. Instead of crossing, I turned back there and trotted back towards home. You see, the bugs are so bad through there that when we use that section of the trail for cool out, we are swarmed. I passed up home and headed the other way for the cool down, and I was right. There were less bugs—and we got to go on a trail that we haven’t been all year.

We quit going there last summer because it is closer to the road, and for some reason, last summer he was spooking at motorcycles like crazy. It took the fun out of going that way—which is less scenic, anyway. When he started to spook so much, I began to stop him whenever I heard a loud motorcycle coming toward us. I think my strategy worked, because he is spooking so much less at them this year. I may start going the other way on a regular basis.

This was the second ride that I did a lot of cantering. Instead of stopping at 16 strides, he was going to 32—in spite of the 90 degree weather. I was so glad he was so happy to canter last night.

I rode Cole in the outdoor arena. It is huge, and I am working on riding him the full perimeter. My concern is bolting and spooking on the far end.  It is funny—the braver I get, the smaller the arena appears. I can walk him counter clockwise all around and do a little bit of trotting. We are having trouble clockwise—my weaker side, regardless what we are doing. On our first lap around, when we were at the far corner facing the gate, he tried to bolt to it. I was able to stop him on the first stride and made him stand. Then we walked to it. After that, I mostly worked him on that arena side and corner. He didn’t try any more shenanigans. It didn’t seem to bother him that the horses were turned out next door by that corner or that the kids where riding ATVs on the other end.

We only did a little trotting cuz of the heat. The mosquitoes and gnats were awful, since we were walking. He had another lesson on keeping moving even when bugs are annoying him.

I was pleased with our progress…I just wish it was cooler…


jane augenstein said...

I hear you about the heat, it's hot here too, southeastern Ohio. I went for a short ride this morning but should have gone earlier, maybe there wouldn't have been so many deerflies and the nasty little horseflies! We had a few almost spooks but we worked through it, I am getting better at it and he is getting more calm.
Found your book on trail riding on Amazon and ordered it; should be here tomorrow!!! :-) Can't wait to read it!

Judi said...

Thank you for ordering my book!!! I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful.

Now that I have Cole, I have to keep reminding myself what I wrote to help me out. (Oh, that's right, if the river is high, I should position him so he is going slightly upstream...)

The deerflies are just starting up here--3 weeks early due to the heat. I hate those things. I use those crocheted bonnets that cover their ears and foreheads. That way, if they land, at least they won't get bit--and it gives me a chance to kill them.

jane augenstein said...

I do have a crocheted ear and forehead cover but didn't use it today. Next time I think I will use the fly mask for riding, he likes that, covers ears and face. Gilly and the donkey both come and almost put their head into the fly masks, they know what they are for! Wish there was some kind of fly spray that would keep them off, him and me! I think I have tried every one on the market and even made my own but to no avail! :-(

achieve1dream said...

I think flies are getting resistant to fly sprays like worms are to dewormers. :(

Glad you had such great rides!