It's time to saddle up and start posting again. The horses had most of the winter off, loafing and fighting. The spring has also brought about a few changes.
I have moved from Bulverde to Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas. I'm about 30 miles from my previous residence. The move has provided me with a bigger, newer barn. Unfortunately, it took away my wide open front pasture and lighted round pen. But God provided, and my back neighbor has a wonderful arena and round pen that she is allowing me to use. And when I say nice arena, I mean very nice, good footing, and big size.
I don't have as many trails to ride, but the horse community in this area is more extensive. I hope to start reining training with Joey very soon. I have spoken with Todd Martin, a local reining trainer, and I hope to begin in about 3 weeks.
In the meantime, I'm getting Joey and I in riding shape. I kind of let him get away with being a little "strung out" last year. That is, I didn't insist he ride collected all the time. I wanted to build trust and work on his freeing up his canter and trot. Also, he used to do a head trick where he "pushed peanuts" while at the trot and canter, and it always brought him out of balance and stopped his movement. It took me a while to get his head up and flexed at the poll properly. In other words, I think he thought just dropping his head to the ground was what was expected, and what I really wanted was flexion at the poll and his head carried in a neutral position relative to his spine. He's young, so I just think he needed to figure it out.
Well now, with his head off the ground, I want flexion at the poll. With a lot of rust still on, we were working on conditioning and NOT bucking, and so I resorted to a German martingale to help the process. This has really helped to keep him from picking up his head and making a big to do with his head when he transitions to the trot or canter. And it's allowed me to focus on speed control and the space between his ears, lest he decide to get frisky.
Yesterday, we rode in the the bosal, and he did very well. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll just use the bosal alternating occasionally with the German martingale for a while, at least until he's better conditioned and giving to pressure. Already, things are progressing nicely.
My goal is to have some of the rust off and have him in good shape for formal reining training to begin in 3-4 weeks.