Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Playdate pictures and an evening ride

Today was a gorgeous day. It started out overcast and rainy, but around midday, the sun came out. The day stayed much cooler than it has been lately, so it was sunny and a comfortable temperature. What more can you ask for?

I hadn't ridden since Thursday (when we went for a really nice trail ride that I forgot to blog about), so when Spaghetti's owner asked if I wanted to schedule a playdate, I jumped at the chance. We met at the barn this afternoon and turned the horses loose in the arena together.

Horses playing

Spaghetti is a striking gruella mustang, just slightly smaller than Panama. They are about the same age, and they seem to play really well together.

Horses playing

There was lots of bucking...

Horses playing

...and also lots of their favorite game, bitey face.

Horses playing

After they'd had enough, we let them graze in the yard for a bit while we chatted, and then both of us rode for about half an hour in the arena. I didn't work on much, just a light review of what we've been working on lately: head set and rounding, maintaining the same pace, and focusing on me despite distractions. He did reasonably well — he's still getting distracted, but he's also remembering what we've done before, and responding well to reminders when his attention drifts.

The most persistent bad habit is speeding up when we trot down the straight side of the arena that faces his corral — I think he sees home and gets excited. He is much worse about it when we go clockwise — he is showing a strong preference for going to the left.

Anyway, I kept the ride short and pleasant — we trotted for most of it, but I let him quit as soon as he gave me what I wanted in each direction. I want to get a longer ride in again soon, but this was a good refresher after four days off!



At August 26, 2010 at 1:43 PM, Blogger JennyB said...

Oh I love the pictures!! It sounds like you had a perfectly lovely time and if you ask me, you are right on correct in stopping things when he "gets it." In my dog training I've stressed doing it that way because it leaves them feeling like they did a good job so they're still eager to please the next session.

~~ JennyB, Horsefeathers

At August 29, 2010 at 12:41 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks Jenny! I don't want him to starting thinking that one good turn around the arena and he's done, but I also don't want to push him beyond that point you mention, where he's still eager to please.


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