Monday, September 8, 2008

Romeo Training 09/06/08 Ride 3

In Romeo's morning session, Les saddled him, tied him to stand, and later went out to work. They repeated from the day before, but stayed in a smaller pasture at his house. Worked on reining, and loping. He said Romeo's lope out to the left is better balanced than his lope right, but both were more controlled. Total work, about 45 minutes.

In the early evening, I arrived, and hopped on Romeo a while. He was already standing, saddled, tied, and calm. Les rode him a bit before I had arrived, to "see what mood he was in." As I watched, I noticed Romeo was turning pretty easy. Les loped him off to the left, and it's definitely progress. Romeo was irregular in the speed, and still a bit snappier than I'd prefer, with his head up in the clouds, but he did lope off, and some of it, I may be able to ride withotu complete fear. With spurs tied to my boots, I climbed on. I rode in Les's cutting saddle, and Romeo was sporting a twisted wire snaffle large ringed bit. I slid around a while in the much larger saddle, and tried to figure out where his buttons all were, since they're in the process of changing. He trotted a few figure eights, and we worked on reining only. I got some sassy attitude, but he was well-behaved.

I put my saddle on Amigo, and off we went. Les on Romeo, me on Amigo. We entered that same old cotton field, and Les hollered me into a lope. I wasn't in the mood, unsure what I would do, what Amigo might try, or what Les & Romeo were going to do behind us. As I loped forward, I focused *very* hard on some trees waaaaaaaaaay off in the distance. "Focus, and don't think about anything else", I told myself. "Now would be a real stupid time to fall on your face, so don't blow it. Romeo needs me to be calm & bright right now, and the old horse underneath me isn't going to react if I don't react." Les & Romeo galloped on by us, alternating his silly buggy trot with the goofy gallop. Les kept spurring him on, hollering at him, "Just lope, nitwit!" They came down to a walk, and Amigo carried me up to them.

A little chatting, a little relaxing, and I smooched Amigo right up into another lope. I didn't ask Les, I didn't look around, I just set focus on those same trees, and off I went. Amigo increased speed a bit, but stayed overall relaxed. Les & Romeo whizzed by us again, and that time I couldn't help but laugh. Romeo apparently likes to be in front, because once he was past us, he calmed right down, and both horses were loping about the same stride. We reached the end of the straight row, and walked a while.

Les said to me, "Romeo needs to quit getting all stirred up every time you take off. So, lope out to that third marker, and stop. Turn around, and face us." When I asked if they'd be loping out again, he said, "No. I'm going to start working on getting him to quit worrying about the other horse, and just worry about me." It worked. Romeo made a nice walk & trot, at least after I stopped & watched on.

Total work, about an hour and a half. I got some confidence, and Romeo got more lessons.

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