Monday, October 20, 2008

10-17-08 weekend update

Thursday evening
Chewie, round pen. I asked for canter left, he went one circle, and tried to break gait to trot. I pushed him back into it... Got a little bucking fit, head tossing. I sat deep, and laughed at him, and figured he was just annoyed. Not a big deal. Sat deep enough to feel the back of the saddle holding me in.

Friday Friday
Romeo had three days off, and I got to feel what a WHEEE ride was like. He was a bullet at the canter. Galloping about, on the wrong lead. I tried fixing it, head to the outside, outside rein outside leg. He popped up in the air about two feet, landed on the correct left lead. Cantered around a while, and when I checked it again a bit later, it was wrong again. We worked for about 35 minutes, walk, trot, canter, both directions.
When I caught Chewie, I intended on a warm up in the round pen and a quick walk around the property, a few trot circles tossed in. He walked really great for quite a while. He spooked at a deer, which doesn't bother me. Used to, but it doesn't anymore. Spooking at the deer wasn't the issue - it was the bucking carp when I tried to pull his head around to one-rein stop. He hopped a couple times. I grabbed the saddle horn in one hand, reins & mane in the other. Pushed myself back down into the saddle, until he stopped. When he did, I thumped him on the neck with some force. "That didn't work, you little twit. Now, since you've got that much energy, you're going to work, and you're going to work hard. Time to use your brain instead of spooking." Right where he spooked, we worked on trot circles. He kept tripping, unhappy with the uneven footing of the pasture. I kept pushing him forward. If I had relaxed my heart rate to normal, I might've cantered him, but decided against it. I wasn't upset that he spooked,, I was completely ticked at the little "get offa me fit" he threw after the spook. Uncalled for, and won't be tolerated. Total work nearly 45 minutes. It was supposed to be a quite ride.

Saturday Saturday
I cleared the arena in the morning. Completely, totally. Fence line even cleared out. I got all of the weeds pulled, the arena flat mowed near to the ground. Complete satisfaction.
I decided Chewie had enough energy to fight with me, he was going to learn what real work used to be like. I took him to the round pen, let him free run a little bit, then tied on side reins, and put him to work. Walk, trot, canter, and I didn't let him stop until his head showed some relaxation, and he quit fighting the side reins. Watched him relax & loosen up, and I crawled on. I intended just to do long & low trot stretches. He didn't want to mind me, so I put him back at work. Hard work. Extended trot, coming & going at trot and at walk. A little canter left near the start of the ride, when I initially needed his mind off of being mad and on concentrating. He seemed to focus more after the little canter. Ended with long & low trot, turns on forehand & haunches. Worked him for an hour, and he needed it.
Les called, and invited Romeo and I on a ride near his place. Hooked up the trailer, and hauled him to Les' house. Saddled him there, warmed him up at Les' house. He had a nice big pasture to work at. Good footing in the grass. Neighbor's dogs were barking, and he wasn't impressed. One time, he seemed to almost shy at them. I told him as we cantered from them, "Buddy, next time you're not going to do that." I talked to him the entire next circle, and he did better. Les & I strolled out across the pastures, along the roadside a bit. A noisy diesel truck roared past us, and Romeo handled it great. Les' mare, Sugar, spooked at a few things, got bored & played with her bit, and Romeo wasn't bothered at all.

Sunday Sunday Sunday
Caught Chewie, and back to the round pen. I took Romeo's martingale with us, and it ended up being useful. More warm up in the side reins. He was really stiff to the left. When I got on to ride, I noticed the same. Did a little canter with me to try & loosen him, no success. He would trot "long & low", but when I'd gather any rein, he'd hollow out & pop his head up. To the right was beautiful - he was even bent in the circle, putting weight on the front right foot.
Romeo was, um, fun. Fast & fun. Put him in the arena, and discovered that I will have to keep him under control on the short sides. It's a bit narrow (which makes me wonder how am I going to get Chewie to stay under control. I did a canter circle in there once or twice on Chewie, with good results... Maybe Romeo's just not balanced enough for it yet.), and Romeo insisted on shortening the short side, cutting the initial corner. I left him go one time, and felt one of his feet slip a bit on the sand. Whoops! The next time in the same spot, he didn't try to cut the corner. Worked on canter left, canter right (same balance issues. He just felt fast...), and introduced roll backs at the walk. He started to anticipate, backing up a few steps straight, then starting to move his tush to the side. So I did a handful of straight backups, and stopped, then walked on forward rather than rollback. Total work about an hour. Need to do more canter work tonight... Maybe in the arena, maybe in his pasture.. But we need more canter work. Get the fast canters out, and get him into a slower lope I can work with...

Busy weekend, productive weekend. Much of it to myself, with the horses, uninterrupted & unbothered. Need those every so often ...

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