Tuesday, October 20, 2009

10/19/09 A Better Focus

I was and still am in that dazed mood. It's a bit hard to concentrate on, well, just about anything. Jen has it about right here. Plenty of horrible people are left to continue on, but we've lost a great person. The hard part, is I can't stop life but to pause & pray for her family & close friends.

So, Ransom and I warmed up free lunge, a solid stretch on the line in side reins, french link bit, and off we went. He was a little chargy at the canter again, but settled down after a while. I got all three gaits relaxed & collected, asked for some more transitions, and things improved the longer I sat up there.

After a good half hour's work under saddle, I went through my two tests. Did what I could remember, and I'm pretty sure I got them right. Training 2 coming out of canter-left, heading down the long side, is by far the ugliest part of both tests. He absolutely refuses to make that pretty, and I have to tug with way too much rein to get him to ease up to a trot. I'm going to concentrate on that tonight, again. Work into a nice canter, when he settles in it, push him a bit farther, then head down the long side, and relax into a trot. Every other trot/canter/trot transition was marvelous.

In fact, these were probably his best trot/halt/salute transitions ever. It feels like he halts right of centerline, and my right leg pressure doesn't seem to be helping that. Otherwise, he's only sticking a few strides of walk in, and is keeping his head down & relaxed. *Whew* Got that monster bug worked out, I hope.

Rest of the week I'm going to work in the twisted wire full cheek or the twisted loose ring. He won't see that calm french link bit again until showday. I just can't chance it - if I ride him in something strong all week, it'll make him appreciate that lighter bit all the more.

His clipped coat looks fantastic! After not staring at it for a day, then seeing him again, it looks awesome. Better, even though he was sweating when we got done, and the easy-wick square pad was wet on top, he wasn't dripping.. His cool down was super easy - walk out the heavy breathing, and brush. No hose! Fantastic, since it dropped in the low 60s last night. Absolutely fantastic! Even with the horse hair snippets all over the front yard, and all through my clothes on Sunday, I'm glad I did it. I'm sure Ransom is, too.

Funny ride moment - we had just gotten a really nice warm up canter left, and I was finally enjoying having his attention. I asked him to ease into a trot, which he did, keeping collected, and forward. I settled more into a collected walk, and again he complied with grace. I let the reins ease out into a free walk, and just as I reached forward to pat his neck, give him scritches and a huge "Atta boy Good Job!" a doe squirted out of the trees about 10 ft from us. Ransom tossed his head up, and for a brief 3 seconds, we both said "Oh crap! What's that?!" When the critter spook was identified, he went right back to work, in a huge free walk, dropping his head looking for the bit. Fantastic and Funny!!

Countdown to Sienna . . . 6 days

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