Saturday, April 10, 2010

Trick Training

Paul and I went on a nice little ride yesterday. Paul is quite sick and I am getting there (just a sore throat and possible sinus infection, but it does make one feel like crap) so it wasn't a long ride, but it was productive. Ashley likes to really test her rider - she was trying to eat, trying to turn off the road, changing gaits, all sorts of stuff; but Paul really stepped up and didn't let her get away with it, but he didn't loose his temper either (which is impressive because he is sick - we all know how our tempers are when we are not feeling well). Hammer was awesome - he hasn't been ridden in a couple weeks, and I could tell he REALLY wanted to let loose and GO! He gets very annoyed at Ashley's slow Quarter Horse pace :P But he held himself back. It was hard for both of us, but we did it. :P We even canter some circles, showing Paul some tricks to keep Ashley in a consistent diameter (how to make circle smaller or larger, and how to keep the horse where you put it, basically). But then Hammer calmed back down and we walked home at a mostly calm and reasonable pace! I swear, that horse MUST be gaited because he can do some sort of "walk" that feels sooo nice (not exactly smooth, but rolling) and he can do it as fast as Ashley does a working trot - that's right, WORKING trot, not collected trot or jog! Then again, Hammer can trot (definitely NOT smoothly at this speed!) as fast as Ashley canters. He's just fast at all gaits :P

Anyways, both horses got in some good training. Ashley got work with going where she's told and staying in that direction, plus keeping her mouth off the grass, and I even rode her for a minute at the corrals, showing Paul how to get her to side-pass (she doesn't do it yet very well - in fact yesterday was the first time she got a real lesson). So now he knows how to ask for it and she knows what he is asking for. Hammer got a lesson in calming down because I will let him move, I promise! He just has to chill out while we do it :D

Then later than afternoon I worked with hammer on the ground. I got him bowing a lot better - as in, he stays on the ground for more than a split millisecond :P I even got him to stay bowed while I got on, then got him to bow again with me on him. We did that a couple times, then i got off while he was bowed. Very cool :P Not yet very graceful with the dismount because the ground wasn't exactly where I thought it was, but it was still cool. Then I worked with nine on the same thing, but he isn't nearly as far along as Hammer. I got one good bow out of Nine, though. That was the first time he had gotten his knee all the way to the ground. He is starting to trust that I won't kill him while he is down :P

And today I am even more sick! So even though it is a fairly nice day, I am stuck inside resting and down (yuck) homework.

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