Friday, September 10, 2010

Mini Holiday for Rogo

I've decided to give Rogo four days off. He's been ridden 5 to 6 days a week all summer, and lately I've noticed that although he is sweet and willing to meet me, get tacked up and go out, etc., his energy level is dropping. I thought the break in the heat might help him, but it hasn't. I rode two days ago and in some respects it went very well - lots of canter work, holding his canter, bending nicely, trotting over cavelletti, but...he just doesn't have any bounce or joy in it. Not unhappy, not sour, but my gut is telling me to back off before it gets there.
One thing that we're missing is hacking out. He's never been ridden outside a riding ring, except for a little bit in an adjacent pasture. Doug and I HAVE to take he and Savanah for some hacks before we go back to Cheryl's the first week of Oct. My goal is to go for a beach ride with him before he heads to winter quarters. This could be a little more challenging than it sounds for a quiet horse like him. He isn't a bucker or rearer or spooker, etc. etc. His one bad habit is that he'll run for the barn when he's being longed if he gets unhappy with it and he'll try to run for the barn when ridden occasionally. He hadn't done it in months until I tried riding him bare back last week, but then it popped up again. When I led him on the beach earlier this summer he ran from me when we turned for home - not to the barn or the other horses - but to a patch of clover. He isn't the least herd bound, so that's in our favor.
I'm hoping getting out of the ring for 'fun' riding will be more interesting for him. He's worked really hard this summer and made a lot of progress. My other thing to try is nutrition. I've increased his grain again and I'm putting him back on alfalfa cubes. The later is Cheryl's suggestion - he may need more protein than he's getting. 

A final note - Anky has dropped her ridiculous law suit against Astrid Apels. The up side of that story is the huge amount of bad publicity garnered by Anky and her husband for their training methods, and their bullying behavior.

8 comments:

SprinklerBandit said...

Yep, definitely need to get him out. You can keep it easy--just walking around the outside of the arena can be enough to get my girl forward and happy.

Lori Skoog said...

I agree. Riding only in a ring can create sourness. I wish we had a beach to ride on.

Carol said...

Thanks for the feedback - you've encouraged me to get him out. I'll start with just walking.

TeresaA said...

I think that you are wise. I agree that horses need breaks- just like people. Hacking out is a wonderful way to introduce change.

Jeni said...

Yup definitely need to do something different with him. Hacking out will be perfect. Beach riding sounds heavenly, never done it before. Not many beaches where I am.

TBDancer said...

I am a firm believer in hacking out because it provides a change of scene for horse AND rider. I live where there are lots of dirt roads, and from the get-go, I rode my OTTB "out and about." He was afraid of everything. A "seasonal stream" rut in the ground was impossible to step over. So was a fallen joshua tree (a full six inches high). Today he picks his way through the chaparral like a seasoned trail horse. For a dressage horse "on a break," he's quite a guy.

I'd LOVE to go for a ride on the beach, but I'm like Jeni. Not many beaches in the desert ;o)

As for Rogo's peace of mind, ride with a reliable trail buddy. My horse's first trail friend was one of those "do-everything" QHs that had also been a pony horse on the track. Perfect transition ;o)

Carol said...

It's unanimous - we need to hack out. Maybe I should have done it before the lay off :)
I wanted to have some solid training under us first. Now is a good time to do it - a summer's training under our belts, he's still home so it's easy to go out, and with the cooler weather it isn't such a chore to tacked up and go. I'll keep you posted! Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. We'll go with Savanah who is rock solid.

juliette said...

A fun break outside of the ring will be just the thing to clear out the boredoms and reward him for his good work and great progress. Sounds like you live in a heavenly location for just this type of riding too! The beach! Sigh! How wonderful!