Sunday, June 14, 2009

Another successful ride and productive day!

It's been a great weekend! I was able to ride both days, and I feel like we accomplished so much!

My ride on Panama was another short but very productive one. We worked on a lot of the things we worked on yesterday: keeping a steady pace, and crossing the training bridge in the pasture. He's doing much better at going in a straight line, so we didn't have to focus much on that.

Keeping a steady pace, though, is still a bit of a challenge. Panama has certain spots where he likes to speed up, and I swear he's developed a new one. This one is heading away from the front pasture, so there goes my barn sour theory.

Today, every time he sped up at the trot, I circled him back around (still trotting) to just before he sped up, and made him do that part again. Usually he slowed back down as we circled (probably because not knowing the destination made him pay closer attention), and then I'd check him with a light half-halt as we went into the spot where he was speeding up. Usually that worked, but sometimes he'd speed up again once we were back on track, and we'd have to make the circle again.

All in all, though, I think he's beginning to understand what I want of him. I think I'd better get him to control his pace a bit better before I take him off the property, though, as he'll be more likely to want to rush in the open field.

We also went over the bridge several more times. The first time I rode him straight up to it from across the pasture. He halted right in front of it, and stood there like a dunce for several moments before he (I assume) remembered that it didn't try to eat him yesterday, so therefore it must be okay. After a couple of false starts, he went right up and over, but rushed a bit going down the other side.

I circled him around, and we went over the bridge twice more. By the third time, there was absolutely no hesitation whatsoever!

I only rode Panama for about 15 or 20 minutes. I get bored fast in the pasture, so our rides tend to be just long enough for me to work on two or three things. That's definitely something I need to work on. But today, I had an excuse — as you can see in this picture, the sky was pretty dark, and I felt a few drops toward the end of our ride. As it turned out, the storm waited until about an hour after I got home to really open up. But I only out later that there were funnel clouds spotted over downtown Denver (just 30 minutes north of where I was) at about the time of my ride.

Before I left, I also did some trailer training, but I'll save that post for tomorrow morning!



At June 15, 2009 at 4:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I don't ride long either, if I get done what I meant to. Panama seems to be progressing nicely!

At June 15, 2009 at 9:47 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Oh yes, he's doing well. Despite the fact that I haven't ridden him much in the last 6 months, I feel like we were able to pick back up right where we left off! Well, almost -- when I have the money to I need to get my trainer back out again, as last time she was out she was helping me get the hang of the canter. I still don't feel very secure at the canter, and won't attempt it when I don't have someone knowledgeable out there to coach me.


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