Frigid March

Novels for Horse-Lovers

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

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Today the farrier was out, so there were a bunch of people at the barn to get their horses feet done. Brian and I got there early to fit in a ride before it was our turn. I rode Steen. It was a super cold morning, and he was riled up and snorty when we first brought him in.

Ready to flee should the blanket turn out to be of the horse-eating variety.

But he settled right down as soon as we started grooming. We got our ride started before anyone else even arrived. He felt powerful but relaxed.

Steen was great again. I worked on outside turns using the haunch, so I’d walk along next to the wall, bring him to a stop, and ask him to step his front end towards the wall and then move off in the other direction. The idea is to help a horse learn to get their butt under them while turning. We were a little clumsy with this. Or really, I was clumsy. But Steen was trying and we made a little progress.

He felt great at the trot and lope from the start. I did more work on leg yields, and loping circles, and asking him to soften and collect at the lope without dropping the gait. It surprises me how smooth and vertical Steen can make his canter if we get things right.

We also worked on jumping from backing into the lope. Steen got really good at planting both hind legs and leaping forward. He loves stuff like that.

Brian was having some trouble with Laredo, though. Laredo is starting to seek contact with the hackamore the way he used to try to lean on the snaffle. Today instead of moving off pressure, he was leaning into it. For some reason, Laredo is not as relaxed with Brian yet as he is with me, and their last few rides have been a bit of a struggle for both of them. I watched them a lot and tried to piece together some theories as to what’s going wrong with them, and fortunately I think we got some of the problem sorted out. By the end of the ride they were doing a lot better. We even did the routine with loping on the straightaways and they did a great job.

All three of our guys were awesome for the farrier, and got compliments on both their feet and their behavior. That is always good.

On a random note, somehow a few weeks ago Brian and I ended up combing through the internet looking for horses that are related to our horses. It started with a search for Bear’s offspring (he was a stud until the age of 12). We found several, and could see the resemblance  So then I went hunting for Steen’s family. He has no kids, of course, but I did find his father. He’s a registered paint by the name of Last Piece of Candy. The pictures aren’t great but you can see some similarities. Pretty funny.

Ride Time: 1:25
Horseback Hours YTD: 20:30

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