By time I got dressed and out the door to work with Trax it was already almost 9 am. It was already too hot by then, but we persevered (and by we, I mean I) and got to work.
I decided that since I haven't even had a chance to try out the side pull which Louisa was so kind to send to me (and Crystal was so kind to send to her) so today was a good day to give it a shot.
We started with lunging in the arena but when I asked him to kick it up to a canter to the right he kept just backing up and trying to pull me off my feet. This is something he has done a few times as of late and it is getting pretty old. So we changed the game plan. We moved to the round pen. I tied the lead rope on the saddle horn and drove him to the right. Funny how suddenly cantering to the right was the best idea ever. Then we switched back to the left. His downward transitions were wonderful. I was a little surprised.
I worked a little on his foot work. You know, asking him to yield left and right while crossing his proper foot in front. He usually wants to cross in the back. Each time he crossed correctly I removed the pressure. Eventually I was able to get a few proper steps in each direction, so we called it good there.
I "installed" the sidepull, I'm hoping correctly, tightened my cinch and got up on him. We bent left and right and that was nice and easy.
We stayed in the round pen, since I did not know how much control I would have and figured that since I had one, I may as well be safe and use it. I'm kind of glad I did. Not that he was bad or out of control, but he felt like he really needed to move his feet a lot today. He wanted to lope and so I dropped the reins and let him. My round pen is a nice size, big enough to canter in, small enough to keep him from getting up to much speed.
He loped a nice easy lope and I just sat there doing my best not to lean to the inside.
He in turn did his best to not drag my ankle across the side rails.
A fair trade, I think. One time he got a little close.
I said to him, "Hey Bud, lets not break my ankle ok? If my ankle is broken I can't work, if I can't work I can't buy you food."
With a flick of his ear and a shift of his path, he replied, "Sorry about that."
After a bit he slowed to a trot, turned towards the middle of the pen and then switched directions. Then he went back to his lope and we repeated scene 1.
I haven't quite figured out where his head is at during these times. Especially this time. I mean he was perfectly happy just loping in circles. If it had been cooler outside I'm sure we'd still be out. But he wasn't like crazy running away, because these were smooth easy circles. He could have gone faster than he was, I have seen him run smaller circles at a much higher rate of speed with out any problem.
I haven't decided if running just makes him happy or if it is his way of getting out of working. Not that he is trying to scare me, or lose me or anything like that. I mean if he was trying to get rid of me, he knows how. I mean that for him running in circles takes zero thought what so ever and he can do it all day. Working on serpentine's, leg yields, side passes, spins, backing up, all of that takes brain work. It is more challenging for him.
Anyway, after he finally decided he was done, we worked on moving off my leg without spurs. He did just fine. So I rewarded him with a walk around the block. As we walked we ran into a gal who lives two doors down. We have spoken a few times when she rides her roan mare past. This is the first time she has seen my horse up close. We chatted for a bit about lameness and roping and houses, and such, then I headed on my way. By time we got back home I was ready to get my jeans off and some shorts on!
Gave Trax a quick hose down and put him away. But not before I took this.
|Modeling the new head gear|