Monday, December 8, 2008

12/7/08 Re-Establishing the Brakes

I hauled Romeo to Les', and we added Amigo to the trailer and sailed off.

Les rode Romeo to start, me on Amigo. I have said this before, and fear my readers may become bored with it, but I LOVE RIDING AMIGO! That horse only lopes on one lead, it's not a rocking horse lope, but once he's in it, it's a dream. I could sit and canter him for an hour, easily, and not get bored. I can feel every hoof hit the arena ground, and by glancing at his ears, I can tell exactly what he's paying attention to while he's going. He is listening to me, and staying on the rail, but those ears are paying close attention to everything else going on everywhere else around him. The fire training grounds near the arena was filled with workers & trucks, putting out a few propane-controlled blazes. "Practice", Les told me. I kept loping Amigo, and he complied.

Romeo got a few pretty serious reminders what "Whoa" was all about. I told Amigo once, "Wow, buddy. It ain't pretty, so let's just get on passed him & ignore it, huh?" Les told me at one point, "He thinks he can do his own thing, and take off anytime he wants. It's nothing you did wrong, he's just seeing what he can get away with. Give me a few more minutes with him, and you can have him back."

We switched saddles eventually, and I told Romeo, "No more funny-stuff. I don't care what you thought you learned at the parade, that's over. It's back to just you and me, and I refuse to take any more crap."

I asked for walk, and halt. It was beautiful, much like when I originally got him back. Same for the trot. Then we tore into a nice big canter. It started out pretty quick, and about 4 circles later, I said to him, "Whoa", almost under my breath. Complete halt in about 4 feet. He was back to his old self.

Les and I loosened our saddles, and took a snack break. I got back on as the cowboys were coming for team roping practice, and cantered what seemed like a hundred circles around the arena. With the break and the temperature dropping, Romeo got a little fast again, his head high in the air. I stayed after the canter until his head started to lower, and I could feel his footfalls. I asked for "whoa", and he slammed on the brakes. We worked on canter left, we worked on canter right.

While the ropers did their thing, I walked around a bunch. Also helped push the steers back up twice. Les has had bronchitis pretty bad, and finally was able to rope. Lots of happiness there. We called it an early evening, and I got home much earlier than normal.

Total work for Romeo, a few hours under saddle. Total "hard" work, probably 45 minutes. I know I got his attention.. He was much better behaved while we just stood around at the arena watching. Calmer, better attention, ears flicking back to me to make sure I didn't need anything from him. A much happier horse.

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