Cowgirl Up on

Tuesday, January 8, 2002

January 8 Tuesday Night Ride Report

I rode at Frank Miller’s with Alayne and Matt. Frank’s is a nice little quarterhorse barn in Maple Valley. His arena fee is cheaper than Cedar Downs ($10 instead of $15). He has a nice arena with deep footing (hard work for the horses) and an area of trail obstacles at one end of the arena. He has aisles on either side of the arena, with stalls on the outside of them. very stall is full. Anyway, on to my night.

I tacked up at home, loaded up and trailered over. When I unloaded, Ariel was her usually little snorty self; at least the way she usually is when she’s smelling new smells. You know, that little snort that doesn’t really have much expression other than “Ooh, I smell lots of new things.”

I brought her inside and into the arena. Alayne and Matt were already riding. I untied the stirrups and gently set them back to normal position and then adjusted the length back to mine; they were still set for Paddock Boy’s inseam from when I gave him the lesson. I did some groundwork in the end of the arena away from the trail obstacles. She was light, responsive, and not in the least bit freaky. She was still blowing occasionally, but when she got warmed up, she quit doing it. After about 10 minutes, I got on.

I did some bending and circles and just general moving around in the open end of the arena. We gradually made our way down to the obstacles. At first, we just moved around the arena rail. She was looking at all that stuff, but I wasn’t wanting to go there just yet. We did a few laps all the way around. Eventually, I did take her to the obstacles. First the rails, then eventually the rails that were set up near other items. Snorty, but not really refusing.

The refusing happened when we got the the elevated platform. I got a few good steps forward, and then decided to do that task from the ground instead. I got off and then drove her toward, and eventually up on it. Unfortunately, when she’d come off, she wanted to walk right over the top of me. She was more worried about the big box full of water on her other side. I basically didn’t set myself up very well on that. My bad. Gonna remember that for next time. After ground driving her onto the platform, she was more than willing to go over it under saddle.

After we got some good things going, I went back to “regular” riding; lots of walk/trot transitions and eventually attempts and trot/canter ones. Those trot to canter ones are still sticky. Most often, not on the correct lead. And sometimes with half-hearted kicks thrown in. I gave many breaks to her in the 45 minutes or so we worked on that. It was pretty humid in there, and she sweated up pretty good after just a short bit of work.

I ended with some bending and backing and slow work. She was soft and light and oh so quiet. Standing calmly next to Alayne’s gelding Bear and Matt who was riding Annie. Absolutely no cranky faces from her! I was a happy camper, and tired. I got home about 9:30 or 10:00 p.m.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

January 3 Ride Report

I rode a bit in the round pen the other day. Amazingly all the sun and wind we’ve had lately has really dried out the pen and it’s been usable. I used my new western Skito pad. Seemed to fit quite well with the saddle. I was concerned that it might not be long enough down the sides, but it’s gonna work. I drove her around lightly a little to see where she was mentally and to check out the footing. All went well, so I decided to “jug” her a little.

I put two 1-gallon jugs on one side and worked her both directions. She was a bit concerned, but not as bad as I thought she might have been. I did both sides, got to a spot where she let down a little, and then took them off. I didn’t jug both sides together that day. I want to take it slow.

After I finished that, I rode with the neck rope for about an hour, just trying to go from post to post. Not too bad, but man, she was cranky when I asked for changes of direction or increases in speed. Granted, she hasn’t been ridden since before Christmas.

After I finished that, Paddock Boy wanted to ride. I gave him a short lesson for about an hour or so. I brought out a long line and tied it to my rope halter like a longe line. He wants to work on his balance and posting, so I didn’t want to just drive Ariel loose with him just yet. This way, I still had the ability to shut her down if things got hairy. Other than that, I just stayed out of their way. I offered pointers and tips, and he really improved. Since he didn’t have reins to hang on to, he really had to focus on his body position. It was great. He even got her to back up with his body, with a little help from me when she’d get stuck. All in all, a good day.

I am planning on resuming Tuesday night riding at Cedar Downs next week at 7:30. If I can find another better/cheaper place, I'd be up for changing venues.

Stumble Upon Toolbar