Today we finally had some warm weather. Technically, we just barely made it into the 50s, but the sun was warm and the air was dry. It felt great.
Aiden is getting some more time off to gain weight and heal his foot. Happily, he’s seeming really nicely settled into the herd now, and appears to have taken my instructions to eat as much as possible to heart.
Everyone else got a ride today. We started the day with Oliver and Laredo. I spent about 10 minutes collecting Oliver video, and edited it down to one minute of highlights:
He’s already way, way happier about the bit. He’s not reacting to it nearly as much anymore. When he’s not reacting, he’s very soft. He wants to carry his head a bit lower than is ideal a lot of the time, and still has a tendency to overflex. But he’s adapting to what we’re asking of him really quickly. Brian checked out his lope now that his feet are in good shape, and he went into it as smooth as you please. His only funny thing is he continues to seem to have a little kink in the left side of his neck. It seems like just a stiff muscle. We’re hoping it’s just something that got strained during the trailer ride, and it will loosen up with time. We’ve been working on some stretches and massage before and after rides.
After warming up in the indoor arena, we took Laredo and Oliver out onto the strip. There, Oliver proved to be just a tidge more distracted, but nothing major.
My ride on Laredo was ok. He was hot, and didn’t have a lot of life for me to work with. This continues to be our biggest struggle with Laredo — just getting his energy up and keeping it there. Overall, it’s getting better, but it’s still something I have to think about for the bulk of every ride. Today, after standing around taking video of Brian for a few minutes, Laredo was pretty on board with the idea that we could just do that for the next 50 minutes or so.
So I worked on trotting him out. I’ve noticed lately that Laredo tends to get stiff in the corners of the arena. I’ve been working on asking him to get soft and round in each corner, both at the trot and lope. It’s kind of a lot of work for both of us, but the practice seems to be helping our communication. It seems like he’s more able to stay back on his haunches and bring his front end through turns with energy instead of losing a little acceleration every time he does something other than go straight.
After our first ride, we took Steen and Bear out. We left the barn’s property and poked around some nearby fields. We kept things pretty quiet and just enjoyed the sun and the scenery.
Horseback Hours YTD: 46:45