A Good Gallop

Novels for Horse-Lovers

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

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We spent the weekend out of town. We went with Brian’s fabulous parents to the Kentucky Derby. In spite of the rather mixed feelings I have about the horse racing industry, it was definitely a fun weekend.

Today, I headed out to the barn alone in the afternoon. I found a very filthy Steen.  His feet were basically pure mud blocks. I spent a long time grooming him, and had to spray his legs off with the hose to even get him passably clean.

I was pretty tired, and wasn’t sure I had the mental focus to work on anything super demanding and specific. So I took Steen out into the big pasture and we just moved around a lot. We trotted and cantered all over the hills and along the fencelines. I worked on an exercise Martin Black likes, which is basically just cantering in a really big circle while trying to keep the horse’s nose tipped in and their back and jaw soft.

Steen was in a relaxed mood. I was asking him for speed and we were alone, but he stayed super chilled out. Finally I decided to open him up a bit. I pointed him towards the barn and told him to go.

I used to gallop my horses all the time. I almost never do it anymore. I’m not sure why. Not only is it fun, it’s good for horses both physically and mentally to run as fast as they can for a short while.

Steen got pretty into running for a moment. We raced down off the hill in the big pasture and up the incline towards the tree pasture. About halfway up he started to run out of gas, and he was happy to stop, turn around, and walk on a loose rein back to the barn.

Once back in the closer pasture, we trotted and cantered a little more. But the sprint had left Steen rather tired, and it was starting to get late. So I hopped off, let him graze for a moment, and we called it a ride.

Ride Time: 0:25
Horseback Hours YTD: 76:35

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