Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shaggy's 1st Ride of the Season

Shaggy, Wed, Jan 5th. 60 degrees!

Temps were in the low 60’s, I think.
What a great first ride of the season!

            I know I was going to talk about Duke today, but I didn’t get any riding photos of him, so I’ll do him tomorrow.  But I did get photos of Shaggy at the trailer.  I took a few field shots.  Even though everything is so brown, it was nice to be out. It really did feel like a spring day.  It was very warm here in NE for January, with almost no wind. I was down to a long sleeve T and a hoody, and was almost too warm.  My fleece lined jeans didn’t help, but I’m not wearing those today.

            I groomed Shaggy, saddled, moved him around a few minutes to breathe so I could tighten the girth and got on.  We went right to the field.  With being so busy at the store, and no ride time since maybe late Oct/early Nov, he was a good boy.  He put on some weight though, and it made me appreciate the feeling of “draping your leg” around the horse, as it’s so much easier to do on a fat horse!

            We went to the fields.  He wanted to trot so I left him. He was ears perked and going.  I rode in 2 point most of his trotting. In a few harvested bean fields, I asked for slower speed to work on posting, thinking of my Center floating up and out, lightly and easily. He makes posting easy, with his long, deep strides.  His momentum pushes you out of the saddle effortlessly.

I did work on a few things for a very short time.  I realized, while trotting down the rows of a harvested corn field, that the corn stubble helps to keep the horse straight. If he doesn’t stay straight, then he’s catching himself on stubble.  Shag has a natural straight way of going, so it is easy to work him on a straight away. 

            In the bean fields, you can see the rows, but there is none of the stubble restrictions or hazards, so traveling through these fields, the rider needs to stay more active.  Then I thought that the same feeling should be true for the corn stubble field. Stay active and stay straight.  Shag did pretty well staying light and straight at the trot through the beans.

            Then we were in an open bean field, and the rows weren’t quite so defined.  We were also trotting parallel to a tree line. Shag was a little focused on the tree line and birds fluttering around in there then going straight.  Now I was more involved, posting with my Center and being light, but concentrating on his head and shoulders staying straight while maintaining light contact with elbows bending as I posted.  We were in work mode for that field.  His trot needs to be a little slower and we need work on the extension, and that will come.

            The rest of the ride was just a “let’s just ride” mode.  Trot, loped some, and walked when he got winded or starting to sweat. I did canter one short grassy area and was a little over 19 mph.  A little while later, on top of a grassy hill, I left him run another short distance, and I think we were at 22 or 23 mph.

 I’m having a hard time getting my Garmin to download on Garmin Connect, as I have other rides that weren’t downloaded previously, and it is taking forever to load.  I tried to download just that ride, but for some reason, can’t find how to select just that 1 ride. The program wants me to select all of the past rides that haven’t been downloaded.  I’m going to delete everything out of the GPS and start over.  I’ll try to ride the same way today and post what I get.  I know I rode him for 6.1 miles in 1 hour 20 min.

  I rode Duke after and I’ll post about his ride and todays ride next.

            Have a great ride and I hope the sun is shining for you, too!

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