Sunday, May 27, 2012

What Happens When You Have a Plan

When I got to the stable today, I did what I always do: I called out Ashke's name as I walked down the stable aisle. His stall is toward the end and he can hear my footsteps as well as my voice. He did what he usually does and whinnied loudly at me. It makes me smile. I stopped and gave him a couple of carrots on my way to the grooming stalls. The vet, JD, and Grace were tending to a Friesan/QH mare who injured herself a couple of days ago. JD looks up and says, "that horse sure knows your voice." Made me feel all warm and squishy inside.

I groomed him and got the saddle on. It was set correctly for the second day in a row. The saddle pad seems to be making a huge difference. I have to adjust the cinch four times however. The saddle pad has memory foam in it, which has a lot of give. It compresses as it gets warm, so I tighten the cinch in the grooming stall, at the round pen, after he has been working for a bit and finally before I get on him. It has, however, cured any issues I was having with fitting the saddle to his back.

Grooming was easy and he leaned into the brush as I worked the areas that were itchy. Then we moved to the round pen. I worked him for fifteen minutes at the walk, trot and canter.

I want you to know that it takes a lot of work to get him to canter in both directions.

I ran in a circle trying to get him to canter to the point where all I could do was stand with my hands on my knees. He knows exactly how fast I chase him and he moves just a touch faster.

After working him for fifteen minutes from the ground I got on him and we started working in the ring. After about fifteen minutes I started working him in figure eights. He was turning with neck reining pressure. I was able to ride him with much lighter pressure and a loose rein for most of the day.

Ashke stops with the slightest pressure and a whoa.

We worked toward a canter. The first time I got Ashke to canter he only took about four steps before we came to a stop. I praised him and stroked his neck, telling him how proud I was of him. The next time I asked him to canter, we managed a couple of  rounds before stopping him. I praised him again, rubbed his neck, let him know that he was doing exactly what I wanted him to do. J videoed the final time I asked him to canter, which he picked up as soon as I asked him to take the gait.

I was tickled pink. I expected results from my new focus and great plan, but I wasn't expecting them so darn quick. Ashke is exceptional . . . smart, energetic and quick to learn. He didn't try to buck or act up at all.

Afterwards, I removed the tack and we washed him down. Then I turned him out into the field to graze while he dried. I took pictures to commemorate his eighth week with us.

Starting to develop some great muscle. We can still see a touch of ribs, but his butt and shoulder are definitely filling out.

I love this pic! He looks so good here. His neck and top line are getting stronger each week. He loves getting a chance to graze for half an hour or so.

You can see the roan markings in his rump. See how much muscle he has developed in his rump.

Here is a picture of his top line. His spine is filling in and you can see the sweat markings from where the saddle was sitting.

Such a nice butt.

Ashke's Skull and Cross-bones!

Front left shoulder.

Front right shoulder.

Right haunch. More roam markings. Or bay markings.

From behind.

We had a great day. He is such a great horse. It seems like every time I start feeling depressed and in over my head he steps up and changes the tone of the conversation. 

We fed him a handful of carrots and apples and peppermint treats.

No comments:

Post a Comment