Friday, March 4, 2011

Too long...

It's been a good while since I've posted, but as Spring approaches, it's time to fire up the blog and the horses.

I gave the horses the winter off, for the most part. They have been ridden occasionally, but only maybe once a month. They got fat and woolly. Several days ago, they received their spring injections and vaccinations, and I started to get them back in shape.

Rations were cut back. They all need to drop their winter weight. Woody has been ridden about 3 times in the last 7-10 days. He was also round penned. He didn't take long to sharpen up. Already, he is stopping well, cantering on both leads easily, and riding in a collected manner. I want to focus on round penning some more, because he is my most reluctant horse to "join up" in the round pen. And I think he and the others ride better when they are more "joined up'. But he is still "the bomb" and I have serious plans to enter an ACTHA event with Woody this year.

I've been riding Lola, the grade QH mare 14 years old, as well. She has about 4 rides on her in the last several days. For the first few rides, she rode without a hitch. Quickly thereafter, she began to stumble and displayed reluctance to take the right lead. She took the left lead, but was nowhere near smooth. However, for the last few rides, she has begun to smooth out and displayed the smooth trot that she has always possessed. I am working on riding her in a more collected fashion, and working to strengthen up her neck and flexion. Her stop is excellent. And she is backing up much better than last year. As a reminder, this is my second year with Lola. Hopefully, she will remain sound. I'd like to enter some cow working events with her this year.

Vaquero, my fire breathing paso fino, has been ridden once. He did well, but is clearly out of shape. Since I do not have any plans to enter any events with him this year, it's going to be hard to find time to work him properly. I still enjoy him, but I cannot see entering him in any endurance events or ACTHA events due to his excitability. He is a great trail riding horse, but one cannot open gates easily from his back. He is so touchy to even the slightest touch, that cueing him gently can be a real challenge. He may be relegated to ground work and desensitization. Also, since I am the only one willing to ride him, he'll be my mount if guests are riding Woody and Lola. It seems no one can get past his fast moving feet long enough to realize the smoothness of the rider on his back. And frankly, he is not for a beginner. You have to watch your feet and legs so as not to cue him inadvertently.

That's it for now. Updates and pics to follow.


cheyenne jones said...

Welcome back! Glad to hear things are moving along!

Jan said...

TR, Welcome back! Look forward to hearing about your rides and training!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Maybe you could just sign up for an ACTHA ride as a Buddy Rider. That's what I did for my first ACTHA ride last Spring. It was a great way to just to give my horse some experience and to check out what the obstacles were like so we could set some up and practice at home. Since then I've ridden with quite a few people who have signed up as Buddy Riders on green horses and new trail horses, just to get them used to the new environments and experiences.