Thursday, April 16, 2009

4/15/09 Romeo's Back

Grabbed Romeo straightaway after work, absolutely determined that, no matter how exhausted tired I was (from the late night before), we were going to work. Saddled up Western, and headed to the arena.

One thing I love about Romeo - I feel comfortable crawling on him without any warmup, and just going. I may reach that point with Ransom, but I'm not there yet. It's nice to just get a saddle on Romeo and head out.

He did very well. A little bit of wheezy breath in the first spurt of canter, but it quickly cleared up. Walk, trot, canter both ways. Unfortunately, though I hoped it'd be a light & easy day, my neighbors had other plans. Well, neighbor's livestock, at least.

Cows! Big ones! Right on the other side of the fenceline behind the arena far shortside. Heading towards the cows, Romeo's mind was initially NOT on me. I pushed him onward a few times, with inside leg inside rein jabs to get his attention. He got a little wore out before deciding it was easier to mind me than it was to stare at the cows. Ransom decided he had to get in on the action, and stood for a while in the little space between the arena and the cows. Stinker...

Learned a little about myself, as well. Finishing up at the canter, Romeo was coming to a complete stop. Then, he almost always refuses to walk out forward. I caught why, and proved it with a few drills. I'm squeezing with my thighs and lower body for the transition out of canter, and don't always immediately relax & push with my seat to continue the forward motion. I did a bunch of walk to halt transitions just off of my seat and thighs, and figured out what I was doing. If I'm tight, Romeo won't go forward. If I relax, he'll pick up a nice moving walk.

Good 50 minute work session total. Ransom's up tonight if the weather allows.

Overall, given the time off, and the windy whipping weather, Romeo did well. He got a little stubborn on turns on the forehand, but it's still a training lesson. Just needs more work.

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