I'm on the last day of a four day weekend and it's been wonderful. The weather has been cooperating (for a change) which adds an extra shine to everything. On saturday I worked Steele in the morning and rode him for a bit. When I was lunging him he was getting a bit excited at the canter. Rather then slow him up I wanted to see what he would do so I jumped suddenly in the air. He skidded to a halt and looked at me curiously.
"You're not going to fall down are you?"
That evening a friend came over and rode Irish. They were doing well so I went and brought Steele up for more work. He was a bit excited but working fine. Then a kid driving a lawn tractor pulling a cart came down over the next field (in the spooky corner). Steele freaked out and tried to run away but when he hit the end of the lunge line he skidded to a stop and stared at this contraption with eyes as big as saucers.
"I knew that field hid some dangerous things! We should flee. "
I asked him to whoa and he stood but every time I tried to approach him he would back away farther. Which is not what Iwanted. I thought for a second and then turned around and walked towards the monster. By this time the kid had noticed Steele's reaction and come to a stop. Steele's training kicked in and he followed me. I saw that it was one of the boys who had helped me pick rocks earlier. I spoke to him for few minutes and let Steele realize that it was all fine. I then thanked him for stopping and asked him to carry on as this was a great time to help my young horse realize that it's all fine. So he did. And we went back to work.
I had a session with Royce yesterday and we worked on setting up some 'spooky' situations and teaching Steele how to handle it. We hung an old rain sheet on the far end of the fence so it could flap in the wind. At first Steele was pretty sure it was a horse eating monster but he got over it quickly enough. When Royce was mounted I shook it as they went by. Steele wanted to run but when that wasnt' the option he stood still but made it clear that he did not approve of such shenanigans. Otherwise it was business as usual. I told Royce that I wanted a couple weeks to work on things on my own.
This morning I told Ed that I was going out to ride and could he peek outside every now and then. "no problem" he said. I do that all the time anyway." I tacked him up and we went to work in the ring. He was fine at the lunge. I even did a bit of leg yielding in hand. He seems to be figuring that one out. I then did some driving for a bit and it was all easy. I was putting the lines away to mount up when I saw a SUV drive into the field next door and man got out (it's been a busy field these days). 'Great' I thought. As the guy approached the fence line I led Steele over and we chatted for a few minutes. I thought about not riding. But then I gave myself a shake and got on. The only way to know if Steele is going to react and I'm going to be able to handle it is to take a few risks. And do you know what? We were fine. We walked all over the ring, practicing our steering. I then asked him to trot. First time in the new saddle. I wanted to post but the first time I tried he skidded to a stop.
"What are you doing up there?"
hmm. How to introduce the posting to a horse that has only really been trotted in a western saddle? I put him back into a trot and then posted minimally. As he got used to it I began to truly post. I could feel his back free up as I did so. Which is the idea. A lighter seat will make it easier for him to carry me. I worked on trotting a circle. The first time we made it half way before he fell back to walk. The second time we made it 3/4 of the way around when he got a bit fast. "Easy" I said and he came to a sudden stop. oops. A little work and we managed to trot a full circle. We then went around the ring. Then we managed to trot two thirds of what might generously be called a 3 loop serpentine.
|what I had in my head. the reality was more like a drunken dressage test|
We ignored the man in the field. Well I worked on helping Steele ignore all but what I wanted. For a baby he did pretty good. I was happy with that and dismounted. He looked quite pleased with himself too.
In the afternoon a man came by selling aerial photos. We couldn't resist.