Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 10-11: My Birthday Ride

Friday was an easy day. Worked a little on the ground but the heat was more then he or I could bare so I decided not to push today but get up early Saturday and get an earlier start before the heat set in.

It was about 9 a.m. Saturday morning and I had about an hour and a half to work with Eclipse before my lessons started. As I was warming him up on the ground I could see a notable difference in how he responds to halter pressure since his ponying session on Thursday. His lack of exercise on Friday obvious as he gladly moved his feet around the arena. I focused a little on cantering on his right lead on line to help him develop his comfort and balance in that direction. Even on line he occasionally throws the wrong lead. I mounted up and started with the back up today. A few rides ago if I asked for the back up with the reins Eclipse would toss his head and resist. He has finally learned that if he drops his head and moves backwards the pressure on his nose goes away. His back up has definitely improved as well as his pivots. We then move off at a walk, and then into a trot. I decided to warm up with a transitions exercise that uses the corners of the arena. As we go from corner to corner making a down transition in each all was going well. Eclipse was starting to make nice crisp stops in each corner. In one corner of our arena we store all the unused toys like barrels, poles and balls. This particular corner is always the spooky corner for most horses. We approached this corner, which has never been an issue Eclipse, and I asked for a stop. As he planted his feet for the crisp stop I was looking for, he threw arena footing into one of the barrels. The unexpected sound caught him be surprise, and he quickly turned from the corner. As he did he lost his footing. Before I knew it we were both on the ground. I had stayed in the saddle, unfortunately the saddle was on the ground with Eclipse. A moment later Eclipse was on his feet looking at me on the ground scratching his head wondering what had just happened and how I got down there! I got to my feet and dusted myself off and looked at Eclipse. Hhmmm. How interesting. I stepped over to the the barrel and kicked some footing on it and watched his reaction. Evidently he had gotten over that initial reaction and didn't seem to care any more. So, I hopped back on walked a couple of laps then went back at it at a trot. All ended well. The horse is fine, but I suffer from a sore neck and a bruised ego!

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