Saturday, December 6, 2008


I managed to get to the barn about 3:30pm and got him into the turnout for a few minutes while I cleaned his stall quickly. There were no other horses out so he had no ambition to run around. Plus the ground is frozen so I can't imagine if feels all that good to run on. He did kick up his heels for a second so I tried to encourage him to move around a bit. I try to discourage him from "playing" on the lunge and it's been a while since he's been free to move around so I wanted him to stretch out a bit. He disagreed. He wanted to eat what's left of the vegetation instead of playing, so I just let him. When I brought him back into the stall the feeder had his hay in and was working on the grain. Jr was NOT happy that I was tacking him while there was food to be eaten so it wasn't much fun for me. When I brought him past all the munching horses into the empty arena he did not improve his attitude. He ran around at top speed changing directions before I could correct him so I just let him go and eventually he wore himself out. Then he slowed down and started to pay attention so we worked on his transitions for a bit. I tried to get him to stand still while I walked away to get the mounting block, but he kept following me instead. I don't know if he's ever been taught to ground tie or not but he sure didn't act like it. I'd rather he follow me than walk AWAY, though.

I had a friend take some clips of us riding the other day and realized (with the absence of KAT telling me what to do like in my lesson video) I was letting him get away with his head too high too often. I could see that I wasn't correcting him. No wonder he gets confused "Do you WANT me to lower my head or not!?!?" So I made a vow with this ride to be more demanding. Still rewarding him with a loose rein when he is correct. This approach worked very well. I had to pay REALLY close attention to him, but he spent a LOT more time (on loose rein) in the proper frame with good balance at turns than he has been recently. He still had a few of those moments when I had a fight on my hands, but that'll ease with time and mileage.

I'm watching it snow right now which doesn't make me want to go outside, but I need to do some shopping for work and then I'll go out. I kinda like going shopping with horse clothing on. I remember once while shopping in Office Max I saw a mom and daughter in breeches and boots and I was so jealous that riding was just one more thing they did every day. I like the horsey lifestyle. I don't really like going shopping while covered in horse hair/dirt, though, so I washed my horse clothes last night. :)

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