Novels for Horse-Lovers

The Tipped Z Ranch books feature fictional stories but real horsemanship.

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We probably could have ridden outside today as it was warmish and dry, but I was pretty tired and I also felt like another ride indoors on Laredo would be a good to build on the things we worked on last time.

We started with a difficult bridling. There was some dried dirt and ickiness behind Laredo’s right ear, and he wasn’t happy about my efforts to scrub it off before the ride. As a result, he was already in a defensive mood before I even picked up the bridle, so it took several minutes of face petting and baby steps to get him to relax and take the bit.

Once I mounted up, though, things felt good. We worked again on a lot of the encouragement focused stuff from last ride. Our first trots were energetic, and just when I was thinking I might ask for a lope, something with a loud motor started up outside and he rocketed into one with only the barest encouragement from me. This was easily the fastest lope I’ve felt from him. He was really moving.

Since it was only almost my idea, I made him keep going for quite a few laps more than he would have chosen to go on his own. He was fast but smooth the whole time. We did many laps and once or twice he tried to drop the lope so I gave him a tiny pop on the butt with the end of my mecate. When I did ask for a stop, he dug in and planted it. He stops from behind naturally, and he’s usually pretty happy to slow down, so we’re getting some seriously quality stops out of him already.

Laredo’s also been feeling a bit more physically  mature to me lately. He’ll be four this spring, and he’s gotten a lot broader in the chest recently. His back is short and strong, and his gaits are increasingly effortless and smooth. I can’t wait to see how he looks in early summer when he’s back on the big pasture and all shed out again.

The rest of the ride went very well. I tried to keep things light and just have fun with him. We loped quite a few more times, and he always picked it up nicely and never got upright or crabby. We did some nice trots as well, plus some work on the routine.

Ride Time: 0:50
Horseback hours YTD: 3:15

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