Monday, February 23, 2009

Flying Change!


Now of course I didn't just ask him without warning; when he's been loping well and I have lots of room I've been doing figure-8's and simple changes and I did a few simple changes before asking him for a flying one. I didn't know if he'd do it, but he just DID it. It must've been the "perfect storm" of a transition for his weight to be right and his body to be lined up just right to allow him to do it without stumbling. He's been catching himself a bit more and I did just get by board bill and realized it's been almost 3 months since his last trim so he's probably due. This horse has really good feet, but he gets clumsier when he needs a trim. He's been using his body SO much better though that he rarely has a real stumble. They usually happen when he is distracted by something. I tried another flying change a few simple ones later but he wasn't having it. Remember, my worst accident was during a flying change gone wrong, so I am a bit sheepish about doing them.

He was SUCH a good boy tonight. He seemed really stiff when I started to lunge him, his stride was even but looked choppy. He started moving out more and dropping his head so it was probably the chill and the day off yesterday in the stall. He lunged well and only did one sad attempt at turning (during the FIRST direction, which was odd) but he didn't really seem like he meant it. I left him standing while I switched to the bridle and he stood bare headed and watched the two lesson horses working. He stood while I moved the box around him. Tried to step off when I mounted but as soon as I picked up the reins he stopped.

He did protest a little when the two school horses left him, but I pushed him into the bridle and made him go right back to work and he did. He wanted to watch the other horses come in for the next lesson but not too bad. That's when I started loping and doing the figure-8's so he stayed pretty focused and slow too. He's spending much more time with a low neck and I don't have to work so hard to keep him in check. We can walk and jog pretty well one-handed and with a draped rein, but we're not there yet at the lope. It's amazing if you watch my November lesson video how much moving around I'm doing with my hands trying to keep up with how much HE'S changing and fidgeting. Compare that with the January 1 ride, now imagine another 2 months. He has come SO far in 6 months.

We've been working every ride on ground tying and he's doing super well with that too. I had him facing the arena this time and he stood PERFECTLY still like a statue because he was so interested in the horses in the arena. That was the first time I turned him that direction and maybe that's the way to keep him occupied.

I put KAT's Sleazy on Jr to check the fit. He looked so silly I was mad I didn't bring my camera. I'm going to make a black one, but this one was sort of kelly green so he looked a little like a super-hero. It fit okay, I just have to make the nose-band a little smaller. He protested a little while I was putting it over his face but once his eyes and ears were through the holes he was fine. I didn't think I'd want a zipper in mine, but after putting it on I can't imagine NOT having a zipper. I have a bad taste in my mouth for lycra horse-wear in general because I've seen so many ridiculously obnoxious ones. When I had Debon at a show he was surrounded in his stalls by two huge QH's and this mean black horse was wearing lime green body stocking and he just looked so stupid, no wonder his ears were pinned the whole time. I had to move Debon's buckets to the other wall because every time he went to drink the other horse charged the wall (full mesh panels). I will be doing black for every day and white for summer/shows But we'll see if one is enough. I'm waiting for swatches of a high-performance athletic lycra that is supposed to be good with moisture management.

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