Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beautiful Day With Three Horses, and Huge Wings

Yesterday was really nice, particularly in contrast to the cold, very windy and rainy weather we've been having.  Temperatures crept into the 50sF and there was only a little wind, so I managed to ride all three horses.  It was a day when I kept things simple and mostly just enjoyed the rides.

Drifter was up first.  We worked a lot on his trot, and getting him to really start to stretch down without falling on the forehand.  He was able to concentrate pretty well, so he really offered up some good work.  The slight unevenness behind was still there when we started trotting - mostly on the diagonal tracking left, which confirmed my suspicion that it was the left hind that was the issue - but he worked out of it well so I didn't worry about working him.

Then Pie and I had a good arena session, including quite a bit of trotting.  We're still working on straightness when tracking left - he tends to want to bulge to the outside.  We did some softening work but I was mainly wanting him to move out nicely and stretch a bit, which he did.  We've only restarted our trot work recently, so we didn't work for too long.  And he did fine - no digestive problems - both Thursday and yesterday - mainly I think due to my not overfeeding him with hay.

Dawn and I got in a ride after feeding time.  The sun was getting ready to go down and the shadows were getting long and there was a chill in the air.  She was moderately distracted - looking at lots of things in the distance - there were perked ears a lot of the time.  She was as usual very forward, but was very soft in the bridle.  We continued our search for relaxation at the trot, and we got a few nice moments when she was relaxing while pushing from behind and stretching down a bit.  We did a lot of figure and shortening/lengthening work to help her channel her energies, and did a bit of leg yield at the walk, although if my cue was more than a whisper I got side pass instead.  I didn't do any lateral work at the trot as she was just a bit too reactive after a number of days off.  But riding her today was great fun - she stayed soft and was really carrying herself well from behind - she's a blast (one hopes the good sort of blast instead of the other type!) to ride but you really have to be on your toes.

I feel that I really have to take advantage of these last nice fall days, and we've got more coming up, so I bet there'll be more riding coming up . . .

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And, last night as I was driving to the barn in the dark to check on Pie and give him his bedtime hay, I got to see something wonderful.  A huge pair of wings flew just over my car, barely illuminated by the headlights - it was a Great Horned Owl on the hunt!  We have several breeding pairs in the area, and one of the winter delights - particularly in February when they're breeding - is to hear them in the night calling softly to one another - they like to sit on the roof peaks when they're hunting.  The beauty and delight in the world is truly amazing.

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