Thursday, August 21, 2014

Loving the Clouds

Clouds are a huge blessing for horseback riders in the middle of August in Arizona.  You have to drop everything and ride when such rare moments come around during the summer months.  My husband mentioned that whenever he rode Rock after our horse trainer rode him, he was smooth as butter in all of his maneuvers, but since the horse trainer has been riding Bombay and Gabbrielle throughout most of the summer, Rock has gotten sticky again.  He'd do things like stop in the middle of trail and refuse to budge for my husband.

So, I decided to spend a little time with him and see what was going on.  I think that because Rock hasn't had to do much work all summer, he is reluctant about returning to the trails.  The first thing he did was to avoid getting haltered.  Next he walked off from the mount.

I did some groundwork maneuvers with him away from the mounting block and kept his feet moving, only letting him rest next to the mounting block.  Then I said whoa in a very firm tone and he held still and stayed still until I cued him forward.

He doesn't like it when I chase his tail.  That's one of the quickest ways to get him moving.  He picked up on Clinton Anderson's training techniques pretty fast.

The next problem was his steering.  He almost took off my knee on the sign while going through the gate.

I tried to back him out of it in order to get him better lined up, but he was committed and my timing was poor.

The gratuitous butt shot...

The rainstorms of recent weeks have been washing the sand and dirt off the trails, so there is exposed rock in places, like large boulders buried underground.  Going down into this arroyo, we had to navigate a small rock face.  There was really no good place for the horses to put their feet.  

I tried to guide Rock to the left, but he went right and lost his balance.  He started falling down the hill and recovered by breaking into a trot.  I just let him go because I knew speed was what he needed to get his balance back.

Right behind us, Gabbrielle tripped and started to fall as well.  She ended up cutting her coronet band on a front foot.

Here we are circling back to help Gabbrielle catch up after a pit stop.  You can see her peeing in the upper right-hand corner...

In this next picture Gabbrielle evaded that dark patch of dirt.  Rock got annoyed and tried to pass her, and then she pinned her ears back and I had to chew her out.  As soon as her attitude gets sour, we have to correct it so that she won't try to kick other horses on the trail.

 Down the road to home...

Now I'm just waiting for the thunder off in the distance to reach us and give us another good watering.

1 comment:

Sam said...

I hope you are riding this morning - it was beautiful!

Monty and Harlow