Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Change in Plans

I was so eager to get to the barn yesterday after spending the labor day weekend in Twisp, WA for three days and not seeing my boy! I made it to the barn and Jake's (the old QH Milo is out in pasture with) owner was out, I was meaning to talk to her about who was cleaning the pasture. Turns out she will be, which is ok by me as I have two others to clean weekly.

As I brought Milo into the barn to ride, the BO approached me saying the horse, Cody, who was going to come to pasture with Jake (putting Milo up into a night stall/paddock and daytime pasture turnout) was not coming after all, so I could either keep Milo down at the pasture with Jake, or move him up as originally planned.

Well the thought of being closer to the barn was of interest, but not the part of people handling my horse for turning in/out (bad experience with this one-old BO helped develop some bad leading/ground manners in Milo during just turning in/out), nor having to introduce him to two older mares who may not like him. Or the fact that one horse has gotten tangled up and hurt pretty badly in the fencing out there, and lastly, the pond that is out there, a possible concern for the cold winter months. So I opted to keep him in the lower pasture with Jake, which pleased his owner knowing that I am at the barn 3-5 times a week and will be there to keep an eye on him. Not to mention by Milo staying down there, I save another $50 a month.

But even in the pasture conditions, I think my plan of a trace clip and blanket should work out fine. And I do like the idea of him having 24/7 access to a full run in shelter (the other option only included the shelter overnight, with tree coverage during the day).

Continuing on to our ride last night...Milo was a good boy. A little lazy. I longed him over poles to get him thinking about using his body properly and lifting his back. Than I got on and asked for the usual flexing to both sides (and for the first time in a WHILE) he just hung on the rein and acted like he was going to go to sleep. So I made him move his feet. Dude, flexing is way easier than having to flex AND disengage in the hind. That seemed to wake him up.

On to the ride, he did worked well, just lazy. Wasnt reaching for the bit like he has been, I was really having to tell him to lift himself up and use his core AND stay soft in the bridle. But he got a but better as we moved along. His circles were a little all over the place, I think I may want to set some cones up for a visual and get them even again.

Ive been a lot more concious about my riding too, and staying more cenetered and balanced Which is making me use other muscles! So I got a pretty good workout yesterday-maybe more than Milo he had hardly sweat at all. An issue for me though yesterday was getting used to my new boots. Remember these?

Yep they came in a few weeks ago and Ive been trying to get them broken in. These are such a stronger leather with a thicker sole its been a real pain to break them in. But, what better way to break in a set of riding boots than to ride in them? I will have to readjust my stirrups however because not only does the thicker sole make a difference but also my adjusted body position. Not a big deal though, but I do think these two factors probably effected the ride yesterday.

Now to the best part, Milo's flying change to the right. As I may have mentioned before, Milo's last three changes have all been to the left. It was the only side he seemed to understand easily. But yesterday I was only going to ask for the change to the right. He has to understand that the cue works both sides. When I first asked, I remembered to stay balanced and to not lean. I asked and he BUCKED than changed to the new lead. No no no buddy thats not how we do it. I disengaged his butt around and around. We DONT use our hind end to do THAT.

Got him going again in a nice lope than set him up again for the change. Asked, and he changed! There was a little uncertainty on his part on how to coordinate his hind legs to the new lead so it felt a little funny, but he did it and he changed from the back. Good boy!! Lots of praises for that one than he got a nice rest.

I later moved on to our turnarounds as part of his cool out and was focused most on keeping him in a forward motion throughout the turn (he tries to rock back into it thereby making his energy backwards not forwards, and pivoting on the incorrect (outside) leg. With just a few small circles into the inside direction, I asked for the turnaround and he went around twice nicely pivoting with his inside foot. Same to the other direction. What a good boy!!

I got off and gave him a good pat. He is such a smart boy.

Lastly, back up at the barn, Milo got to make sweet talk to his girlfriend Missy. And Missy went right into heat. Oh joy. Sorry Heather! They are so sweet together though. He nickered softly to her, she peed. He licked her face and her shoulders, she peed. She swung her butt up to his face and he got confused and striked. Repeat that once more. Poor Milo didnt seem to understand what exactly she was doing (which I think was the reasoning behind the strike). But he still loved her anyway, with those sweet soft nickers LOL.

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