Monday, April 26, 2010

04/23/10 Both Again

Ransom and I muddled around through some hunter flat work. I was trying to settle into straight back & shoulders while maintaining the "in control" feeling in the saddle. I had a few incidents of feeling like I'd fall forward and splat. At the walk, I did a few go's of "airplane arms", and felt pretty secure. I didn't make any attempts at this at trot or canter. I also stayed pretty much out of two-point, hoping the Saturday lesson would resolve any imbalance issues.

Romeo, R, and I headed to the arena. Mo had one thing on his cute little mind when I jumped in the saddle - RUN! And we did. That little fart can FLY when he is encouraged. The new large arena is just right to get a long gallop going down the long sides, and still stay decent on the wider short sides. R was scouring the arena for wire, glass, and other assorted "arena digging prizes", and we met up again at the mounting block.

I let Romeo catch his breath, because while he is out of shape, his recovery after a run like that is amazing. Two minutes or less, and he's right back to normal, standing there calm and quiet. I hopped down to grab a drink, and said to R, "So, wanna take him for a spin? Let him run like a madman with you?!" He actually took me up on the offer, and swung up in the saddle.

And Romeo 100% switched gears. He became the perfect prince, walking, and at any shift in body weight, or balance change, he'd slam on the brakes. R gave him a few hard leg nudges to get him walking, and I had to caution him, "Watch how much leg you use, or he will take you seriously." I only made one habit change in the saddle - Hold the reins, don't just carry them. He had his thumb & fingers barely holding, and all the other fingers all sprawled out like he was holding a china tea cup. "Hold the reins tight, so he doesn't pull them out of your hand." I also taught him that "Whoa" means stop now, and showed him where the "Emergency Brake" is. (That's something I ought to get video of, because it's pretty frigging cool. If you reach forward and rest your hand on his mane just in front of the saddle pad, and tell him, "Whoa", he'll stop - no bit pressure required. At the faster gaits he'll break gait but not necessarily stop. At the walk, it's automatic.)

Including his walking & babysitting, Romeo had about an hour of work. I rode him for about 25 minutes, and R for another 25. He was happy as a drunk punch bowl when we got done, licking & chewing in satisfaction. "How'd I do, Mom? How'd I do?"

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