Tuesday, December 25, 2012
I rode yesterday with Nicole. I went to the barn after I finished work in the morning and spent a couple of hours with Ashke. We worked in the arena and then took a short trail ride up onto the mesa. We are taking it slow, because Cali is out of shape and still growing. Ashke did real well, except I am struggling with his responsiveness to the bit. (More on this in a later post.)
Today, J, T and I went to the barn and installed the new stall gate I got from my wonderful son and partner. (I picked it out, but only because J would have been lost trying to find one on her own.) It goes across his doorway so Ashke can leave out and watch what is going on up and down the aisle. It will allow him to be so much more interactive with everyone in the barn.
He loved being brushed today and I am happy with his feet. He felt very comfortable under saddle and wasn't favoring his right hamstring. We did all the gaits, although he got more and more agitated, instead of less, as our ride went on. I have a theory on that, but am saving it for my next post.
He was warm and a little wet by the time we were done. He kicked out (bucked) in protest at one of my requests to canter, so that resulted in some additional cantering up and down the arena. I have a theory about why he is unhappy doing arena work and my steps to correct the issue, but again, you are going to have to wait to find out. I walked him out to cool him off and then took him inside.
J fitted my saddle with the nylon, waterproof saddle cover I got for Christmas (are you sensing a theme here?) and it works really well. I'm hoping it will keep the dirt and dust off it in the tack room and I can use it during rides if it starts to rain. (Maybe I'll be able to wear my Aussie duster too.) Ashke was brushed down and blanketed (snowing here) and then put back into his run with a healthy feed of bran mash and carrots, which he likes better than peppermints.
I would never have been allowed to use a stall gate at Christensen's. Our only potential issue is Ashke's ability to reach the items hanging on his door and his neighbor's door. I can see that becoming playthings for him.
I think he liked the idea, but wasn't real sure it was going to be okay for him to lean out the doorway. I figure by tomorrow he will be an old hand at this. The stall gate is very well made, too.