Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rain, Rain, Why Now?

Yesterday the mercury topped out at 100 or maybe a touch higher, which is too darn hot, in my opinion. It also means that working Ashke has to happen first thing in the morning or wait until early evening. In Colorado, waiting for evening also means the possibility of rain.



My plan had been to work Ashke in the big arena over some obstacles - labyrinth and cavaletti - first on foot and then on his back. Instead, we found ourselves warming up in the round pen in the middle of a small storm. This did not please the boy. At all. In fact, his attitude was "What the hell are you making me do, Mom?"


This is what Ashke looks like when he doesn't like what I am asking him to do. He reared a couple of times, kicked out and let his displeasure known. I applied the same philosophy to him that I would a child - the more you protest, the longer this will go on.


I don't know if it was the wind, the day off yesterday or boredom with the round pen, but Ashke wasn't really excited about working. The good news is my saddle is conditioned well enough that the rain didn't soak into the leather.


Ashke did work enough for me to feel safe riding him inside the indoor arena. It was a downer compared to what I wanted to do outside. Ashke doesn't feel as comfortable in the indoor arena, because of the walls, the other horses, and the increased noise of the rain on the plastic roof. I also think he finds the sand in that arena to be too deep to work in comfortably. The round pen is perfect, because it is firm and yet soft and not so deep that he bogs down.


Ashke really only protested a little bit. He got warmed up and we moved inside. I rode him at a walk and a trot but not the canter (haven't cantered since I was tossed, if anyone is keeping track). I can't tell why Ashke's trot feels off. I can't tell if it's because he has a different stride than what I am used to or if he is still favoring a foot. I'm beginning to think it's just his way of going. My goal today is to get him to relax at the trot.


He looks collected here and I would love to have him feel this way while I  am on him.


The new girth seems to be working well. Ashke protested yesterday while I was tightening it. I could still put both hands on top of each other underneath the girth. He was being a wimp. Ashke is going to have to come to terms with the cinch. I am tightening it slowly, not too much at a time, but he still doesn't like it.


Time to go play . . . .

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