Sunday, June 2, 2013

Friday Ride

Before heading to San Fran for work, I decided to get in another ride. It was again over 90 degrees, but this time, I was not going to let Spyder get away with not doing what was asked of him. The field is FINALLY mowed 100% except for a few straggling long pieces... all of which Spyder tries to grab while in action. I am hoping that the grass is not going to become a greater issue, but I make sure the signal is apparent as a NO!

Shiny with his feet trimmed
His lovely hair. He's standing REALLY weird.
Before I went out in the ring, I made sure that I got my dressage whip. Since it was hot, I was not going to put up with anything. Do what I ask, and it'll all be over soon. Before moving forward back at the barn, I made sure he was OK with it. I know that he knows what a crop/whip are, but I wanted to make sure he wasn't going to be jumpy or too forward since I have yet to ride him with one. His ears came back as soon as I picked it up, but it was more of a listening act vs. being angry. I rubbed it on his shoulder and back and moved towards his tail to make sure that he would be good with it. I moved it out extending my arm to see if he would spook with it far from his body. He was so good! I switched hands with it in front of the saddle to bring the whip up over his ears. Again, no spook. We were ready to ride, and Spyder was ready to go.

In the field, he was super attentive. He has been getting better with this, but his actions come sooner rather than later when asked to do something. All you have to do is hold the crop, and he knows it is there. He listens and waits, and it makes riding a lot easier. You don't have to kick, scream, push, and pull. You just have to ask while holding the crop. Well, that was easy, and he's also a bit more excitable with it in tow. At first, I thought he was nervous or anxious, but he's just more willing to listen for fear of punishment! Holding a whip in my hand is the new punishment, haha.

After I warmed up, the trainer at the farm came over with a pony to give someone a lesson. To get out of their way, I went into the dressage ring. From here, we did a bit of walking to make sure he wasn't going to spook or act up with other commotion going on. They were working on w/t/c and jumping (then cross country) so I wanted to make sure he would behave around a horse he has never seen. Usually he throws fits when horses are in the ring and he has to do something they aren't doing... he likes to follow or watch what they are doing. Asking him to pay attention and listen to me is too much to ask, but this was not the case today. Since he did so well, we worked on picking up the canter. With the crop, even on a hot day, it was just too easy. We cooled down after TRYING to do straight lines.

Walking back to the barn, we saw the vet on the track. She has kept a two of her standardbreds at the farm throughout their training to get in harness and out on the track for early training. The one two year old at the farm was racing, but I don't think she was doing too well, and her two year old gelding is out for training. She wants to bring the mare back for a new discipline, racing under saddle (or RUS). People are starting to learn about this because of the exhibitions at races in the area. She was pacing under saddle (prior to the cart training), but she will trot and pace with her new trainer (getting 60 days), and the vet said she would love to ride her in one of the races and try it out. How exciting! The vet joked and said she would race me under saddle on her pacer, but we don't pace much if at all (not consistently at least) AND Spyder is just not cut out for fast. Maybe that would be exciting for him to work a little harder?

I untacked and hosed Spyder off since it was going to be a warm night. I took him to the outside cross ties with my phone. I sacrificed it with the water thinking that I didn't want to miss such a scene that I had last blog... the drinking from the hose and sitting like a dog on the lead. I got one of the two acts that I wanted to see, but not 100%. For everyone's viewing pleasure, I got the hose performance on tape. The bad news, it wasn't even half as cute or skilled as it was days prior, but you get the point.

Annoying him with the hose because he won't do it!

Turned the hose down so he would remember what to do!

 Me giggling. He did it, but he usually drinks longer. Today, he just wanted to play.

P.S. I'm in San Fran still (until late Wednesday night) so I won't be riding until Thursday (if I'm awake enough after work because I get back late). It is BEYOND beautiful and warm here for the norm.