Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Too Hot to Trot . . . Red Begs to Differ

A lot of the country has been broiling this summer, and now we're getting our share.  Temperatures are supposed to be in the 90s every day this week, with heat indices around 100 most days.

Dawn and I continue with our early morning rides.  She's doing well - we had a brief ride this morning with 10 minutes of walk work followed by 10 trotting lengths of the arena.

Pie's getting the week off - it's too hot for him.  When the other horses get slightly sweaty in the pasture, he's wringing wet.  He's always been sensitive to the heat, but it's a bit better since he was treated for Lyme.  I've been bringing in the horses early, hosing them off and putting them under fans.

Now you'd think that, with it so hot, the horses would be content to enjoy their (somewhat cooler) stalls, with nice hay.  Not Red - from the moment I bring him in, he's begging for attention - to come out and do something with me - anything - yesterday, he was even banging on his door (I ignore him when he does - he knows this but sometimes just can't help himself).  So I took him out and we went for a bareback ride in the sweltering heat.  Although he was cool as a cucumber when he came in from turnout, he got pretty sweaty in our short walk/trot ride.  But he seemed to be enjoying himself.

And that problem with walk/trot transitions?  Going, going, gone . . . just as I expected it would be once I was clearer about exactly what I wanted from him.  On the first transition, there was a fraction of a second where he thought about doing his old routine, but you could almost hear him thinking "no, she wants me to trot right now" and he did.  No fuss, no muss.  Now to maintain this and develop his new habit, I need to be absolutely consistent with what and how I ask him, every time.  If I deliver, he delivers . . . funny how that works.

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