Friday, June 19, 2009

Horseback riding

I forgot to mention my ride yesterday in my previous post.

I rode Panama before working on the trailer yesterday, partly because I think he loaded better the first time, after he had worked up a good appetite from our ride. It made him really want that grain... and being reminded of his manners probably helped a bit, too.

Speaking of manners — yesterday he started out being a real pill. We worked quite a bit on not speeding up at certain points. He was doing it even at the walk, so I had my work cut out for me. I had to do something unexpected every time he sped up — turn him, slow him to a walk, make him halt from the trot (which, incidentally, he did faster than when he halts from a walk), etc. After a while, when he no longer knew what to expect from me anymore, he stopped speeding up quite so much. I decided that was good enough.

We also practiced with the bridge again, and today Panama didn't hesitate one bit — we rode straight up to it from all the way across the pasture, and each time he just walked up and over. Last time I rode, he still balked when we walked straight up to it from across the pasture, so this was definite progress.

Finally, we worked a bit on backing up. We've had a hard time with this lately, and today I realized why: It has to do with what command I use. He knows the command, "Back," said in a low voice, because that's how I say it when I'm on the ground with him. But if I say "Back up" in a slightly sing-songy voice (as I tend to on his back), he has no clue what I want him to do. So I changed my command, and now he's doing just fine with it!

I think (I always forget to time it) we rode for longer than usual today. I lost track of time because we had so much to work through, but it was a good feeling. I also feel like I'm getting much stronger and smoother in my posting. I'm so much happier now that I've been getting to ride regularly!



At June 19, 2009 at 10:51 AM, Blogger Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like a great day of training for both of you. And time spent with your horse always makes for a wonderful day.


wv: squirsh

At June 19, 2009 at 12:20 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

What a funny word verification. It was hot and we were both sweaty, so I suppose there was some "squirshing" going on. :o)

And I agree -- there's nothing like horsey time to brighten your day. Sometimes it's hard to get up the motivation, but I always have to remind myself that I'll feel so much better and be so glad I did.


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