Ride # 7 06/10/2010
I took a lot of time getting Ricky tacked up today. I want to stretch out our time together as much as possible. Hanging out with Ricky is time well spent. I touched up her mane, groomed her really well, gave her a drink, scratched her ears, brushed her face and under her chin until her eyelids drooped from relaxation and then pulled up a chair next to her to work on her bridle. I raised the bit 1/2" and placed tape markers every four inches on the reins. These markings will help me keep a consistent rein length while we work. Ricky watched, I chatted, Phil gnawed on a tennis ball.
A warm, clear day, not much humidity.
I chose the front pasture to work today, yesterday Ricky was doing some fancy footwork to stay in the shade of the trees lining the back pasture, so into the full sun we go. Bob and Kay were in attendance and helpful.
25-30 minutes of walking, figure eights and serpentines with intermittent flexing exercises. Ricky is predominately stiffer on her left side. Trotting started out rough, choppy, and fast. Tired to slow her with my seat and sponged reins. Achieved an even rhythmic trot within 10 minutes. Trotted a few figures eights. The new bit positioning seems to be working, allowing for a little more contact and a comfortable connection (for both of us). No canter was attempted.
Ricky likes to test me by moving toward the gate or quickening her pace as we approach it. We fought about it today. I won the first time by a narrow margin and the second time I enjoyed a small victory. However, I am going to have to come down hard on her for this one when it happens again.
I must not hesitate to let Ricky know her behavior is unacceptable.
That means I must be able to consistently and quickly access all behavior and act accordingly.
She's a big horse with an active strong mind.
I have a lot of work to do. Focus is imperative.
Luckily Ricky is also forgiving and kind. Together we can get this done. Well.
The flyspray I bought does not work. I will research recipes for homemade flyspray.