Saturday, July 24, 2010

Too Much Excitement

The dogs got me up at 6:30 this morning, as usual. I took them out, fed them, got the coffee on and fed the horses. I was heading out the driveway to get the newspaper when I heard air brakes and looked up to see a very large dump truck braking to avoid hitting our neighbor's horse, who was on the road. This is one of my biggest nightmare scenarios. I ran inside yelling for Doug, ran to the barn for a halter and lead line and we drove up the road (me still in pajamas). The horse ran from us (still on the road), so Doug and I flagged down traffic and asked people to wait until we could catch him or at least get him off the road. It surprised me that some people would have tried to keep driving right through while the horse was clearly very excited and racing up and down the road. Then our neighbor (the owner) showed up and although the horse was in a field by this time they were able to catch him and get him back to the barn. Whew. Everything worked out and everyone was safe. This is a young appaloosa they rescued from slaughter - a beautiful guy.
After coffee we did some schooling with Rogo and Savanah. I'm very happy to report that Rogo was back to transitioning into the canter and carrying it better. It wasn't as balanced as Tues., but he picked it up well and would stay in it. One notable improvement was that I was able to slow down his canter without getting a trot. He was fast when starting out, but with a whispered "easy" and ever so slight feel on the rein and use of my seat he'd slow down to a reasonable pace. This is new. Before I would have gotten a trot if I tried to slow down. Yeah! We did long sides and circles both ways and he seemed happy and exuberant to do it, without being silly. This makes ME very happy!
We also worked on 20 m trot circles, mostly to the left. This is still a challenge but getting better. I'm insisting more strongly that he move off my inside leg. If he doesn't, he gets a little tap. After a couple of times of this his response got better. I'm careful not to be too hard on him as I want him to like his work and work with me, but sometimes, if we've been working on something for awhile and he's ignoring me, I have to be firm. I'm really having to learn when to push and when to wait. I think that's the most challenging aspect of learning to start a horse. It's very fortunate I have such experienced teachers because I don't have the needed judgment to do this on my own.
Now Doug and I are off to a Harley Club barbecue and I'll get to see some friends I haven't seen in a while. Gin and tonic or Corona??? I like it when that's the biggest decision of the day.

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