With Balance Comes Strength - Of Body AND Mind

It's been pretty rainy here in Nova Scotia, so minimal riding time :( . Sure seems it's going to be hard to get ready for the first show. At least Rogo seems to be gaining balance and holding his training, as I wrote about a few days ago.
Yesterday the riding ring was too wet to use, so I decided to take him to the beach. This still isn't a usual outing for him - it would be his fourth time. Of course because of rain he hadn't been ridden and was very fresh. Savanah was screaming at him because of being left behind, but as is usual for him he ignored this and happily went off up the beach with me. After going some way up the beach it occurred to me to test his response to turning towards home. If I'd been thinking about it we should have done small circles at intervals as we went up the beach, to get him used to turning toward home and back, but i didn't think of it. So when I did turn on a circle to test the reaction we were quite far up the beach and he took a lunge in the direction of home. I was able to keep him on the circle and get him turned back up the beach, then tried the circle again, with a similar reaction. Yikes! Where was my well behaved boy? I walked a bit towards home, but his head was high and I didn't trust him. His one bad habit is to run from me on the lunge when he's feeling high spirited (and this translated to running from me on a lead line when we're outside the fence - a problem we've been working on with success) and I didn't want him to ever get the idea to run with me on his back, ignoring me.
So I got off and lead him for a way, asking for halts and turns, and after about thirty feet or so, quite quickly, his head dropped and he got soft and relaxed. I got back on and we rode up and down the beach a bit and then headed home.  We went up and down a small hill several times for the workout benefit and for some reason this seemed to make him excited. I guess when he's fresh it doesn't take much :) The field we go through to get to the beach isn't all that smooth, but I did leg yield and shoulder in on it anyway, as well as at the beach. 
Then we practiced halting in the backyard. All in all as good as can be expected with the conditions. I need to get some sessions in the ring though!
Doug and I met with the New Entry Coordinator for farming yesterday about our horse business. Things are going well and we were informed we'd be able to register it as a farm - Yeah! It's questionable as to whether horse businesses can register, but registration gives us access to some great funding programs for loan interest rebates, solar power equipment, etc.


Glad you dealt with the shenanigans on the beach - good boy Rogo :)

Congrats on your good news about the farm - things are coming together!
Oak Creek Ranch said…
It sounds like you got a lot accomplished and had a great ride on the beach. Good boy Rogo!
juliette said…
I love that you can ride Rogo out on the beach if the ring is soggy. How wonderful. I am glad he came back to you on the ground. I can't get Pie to do that for me. If I dismount, I must give a signal that I am fearful and then all is lost. How do you get back on? I had the idea that Rogo is really big. Pie is almost 17 hands and I put my stirrup down to the bottom hole and I still can't get back on.

Probably practicing the leg yields and halts outside of the ring is more fun for him sometimes. I bet you see improvement when you get back to it in the ring.
Carol said…
Hi Juliette - I wasn't sure about getting off, because I didn't know if I'd have more or less control, but it turned out he listened well. I immediately got him busy from the ground - halting, turning, etc. Getting back on is a challenge - he's over 17 hands! He holds still though and somehow I'm able to do it. I practice getting on from the ground every so often in the ring, so I'll be ready if I have to.
Carol said…
Oh, I should also say re mounting from the ground - I'm 5'9", so that helps.
juliette said…
Oh! I am 5'3" so that is where I run into trouble!!!! It is hysterical because I have my foot way up trying to get it into the stirrup and Pie arches his neck back and stares at me because I am grunting and groaning. It is a scene!
Jan said…
Carol, what a ride you had! And such good adjustments you made as you went! I'm impressed! I'm glad Rogo finally listened to you and responded and you both got home safely. But such a good training ride, to handle the various things that came up. Good work, especially you!
Achieve1dream said…
Good job keeping your cool on the beach! I have trouble thinking things through on the spot. I'm more of a react now, think later type of person. It can make things difficult at times lol, but it's also saved me before too so I'm definitely not complaining. :D