January 5, 2011

Cool weather makes for fun ponies...

Rose looking cute and
innocent before our ride.

Based on Sunday's escapades I decided that Rose would get longed before I rode last night. As I pulled her from her paddock, she was half asleep so I was hoping that it would just be a short pointless longe and then we'd get to work, but regardless she'd be getting any extra energy worked out on the longe. The down side of longeing her first is that she runs out of energy during our rides and runs out of attention span.

I put her on the longe and she just walked. "Humph" I thought to myself as I figuratively scratched my head "perhaps she's got it out of her system". Then Val stood up in his stall from sleeping and exploded out of his paddock. That sent Rose off into a full blown Seattle Slew gallop with some Gin Fiz bucks for good measure. I let her continue on, not reacting, as I think in the past my reaction due to concern for her safety/legs would just fuel her more. I think she viewed this interaction as "play time with mom". I also saw her eying my dog, whom in the past she would entice into running around with her due to his herding dog concern for my safety as he would sense the concern in my voice as a giant animal ran around acting a fool in my close proximity. Since I stayed calm, he just looked in my direction, and then scampered on his way to sniff something outside. Rose continued her dramatic escapades until she had a full blown wipe out, slipping out from under her hind end in the hogs-fuel. With a noticeable thud, she landed rump-belly first and did not hurt my saddle.


She looked a bit stunned, and I'm pretty sure she was trying to figure out how I caused her to fall. Luckily no damage was done to Rose at all. She walked/trotted off without an indication of soreness or pulled anything. After that, she settled down and I made her work more at a controlled rhythmic canter and down to trot transitions. She does well listening to voice commands up and down for walk, trot, canter, but more or less ignores me when I ask for a whoa. So, we spent a lot of time walking, asking for a whoa, being ignored, sending off into a couple trot circles, and repeating. Eventually she started listening and we ended on a very nice whoa and stand. By the time she was settled, stretching down, blowing out her nose, and listening, a half hour had passed.

I new that I would not be able to ride her long, as she would now be tired and lacking attention span. I saddled up, she stood perfectly still at the mounting block (obviously deciding after all the whoaing that listening to me was easier than ignoring me), and off we went. She was vastly improved under-saddle from Sunday and really tried to cooperate, bend, balance herself, and yield from my leg. We practiced Intro B test a few times and have a lot more work to do on our 20m circle. She always tries to cut in and throw her shoulder out during the final 1/4 of the circle. We also need to work on our free walk/medium walk across the diagonal.  Otherwise she's doing good at both the upper and downward transitions, and the halt.

Tonight she gets the evening off, as she's getting her feet done and it is feed night for me. I may still longe her though, and put her in side reins...once she's got the nonsense out of her system of course. Here's to hoping she's calmer due to warmer weather and that the barn waterers are turned back on so I don't have to manually do buckets again...yea 40ºF weather!

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

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1 comment:

  1. Ozzy's been feisty this week too. I longed him yesterday, which I never do. He never does anything dangerous, but it takes forever to get his head in the game when he's not distance riding regularly, and I just didn't have the energy. I can't wait til spring.



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