Sunday, May 10, 2009

Lawnmowers

Three Assistant Mowermen
The lawn was really overgrown, so I decided to enlist some help from the Boys. I let them out in my yard to graze for about an hour and a half while I ate my lunch, watched them and, took some pictures.

I did find my camera had been set on manual focus instead of auto focus, so that explains why the other pics were fuzzy.

I don't think the Boys looked up for most of the time they were out. The grass in the paddocks is just not like the lawn. I do have a good mixture of dandelions, varied weeds, and crabgrass, so there is plenty of variety. It doesn't not make the traditional carpeted green golf course kind of lawn, but it suffices.

In the second picture, they are grazing along the driveway next to the fence along my Aunt's property next door. She has one of those manicured lawns. I think the Boys were eying it, but they made out far better in my grass. If you look really closely you can see how long it was.

I mowed the larger areas, but I still have some trimming to do. Unfortunately, I will have to do that with the electric hand held string trimmer. It's kind of a pain, but I have all kinds of little places where a regular mower just can't do the job including a bank in front of the house.

After I put the Boys back in and finished the mowing job, I decided to ride. The plan was to work in the arena for a few minutes and then go out for a hack. I saddled up Chance first mostly because he was hanging around by the barn keeping a close eye on me.

He did some really nice work in the arena, keeping his head down and somewhat on the bit at the trot and then offering a good relaxed canter on both leads. His frame got lost a little in the canter, but he was not rushing to keep his balance and felt very controllable.

Then I headed out into the woods. Chance was shaking his head as we walked along and I realized he was getting attacked by either little biting flies or mosquitoes. Darn. I thought we'd have a few more weeks without bugs!! Then, when we reached the edge of the field, I heard racing engines and saw two mini-bikers out in the field, heading in our general direction. I turned Chance around and headed back in. The bugs were annoying enough, but the mini-bikes were a decided deterrant. No point in trying to take a hack with them out there.

That meant that Tucker would get some arena work. I decided to focus first on my seat and sensitizing him to my weight aids. I rode with little rein aid, just steering him with my position and then stopping him with my seat. He sharpened up pretty quickly and I was honestly a little surprised at how well he responded.

I was having trouble getting him to halt straight. He kept stepping over to the left with his hind end. I kept adjusting my seat only to discover that I had apparently been sitting too much on my right seatbone, and dropping my right leg back. Since I was crooked, so was Tucker. I leveled myself, and brought my right hip and thigh a little forward and he straightened right out. I worked on that for the rest of the ride as I think it might also have been making his canter a little crooked too.

We did some walk/canter transitions, and then some canter/walk transitions, again mostly off my seat. Then I tried a canter half pass to the rail on each lead, using a half halt to prepare for a flying change, but not really trying to get one. Essentially, he gave a lead change from a single trot stride, so that was a good start for now.

I finished up with some trot/halt/ reinback four steps/trot transitions. Tuck does not always reinback without resistance and he gave me a little attitude a few times. But once more, once he understood the exercise, he did it quite well. Then, I put him on the bit and just did some basic walk, trot and canter in a more elevated frame. Not much as he is not fit enough to really work, and then with a nice halt on the centerline, we called it a day.

Toby was a bit wary, but seemed interested in doing something, so I brought him into the barn only to look down and find out he was missing a shoe! I know he had it on when he was grazing and it certainly wasn't on my lawn when I mowed, so he must have pulled it when I was riding the other two. I groomed him and gave him his carrot, then went out to look for the missing shoe.

Nothing. I think horse shoes are like socks in the dryer. Where do they go?

All in all, a productive Sunday afternoon.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great day, except for the bikers. I did that same thing with my camera and couldn't figure it out for a while either. Bet that missing shoe will show up where you least expect it.

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  2. they get "buried" to reappear when rusty....

    another joy of being able to have a barefoot horse...

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  3. Lovely lawnmowers:)

    I know exactly where my socks go..the dogs play tug of war with them until they are shredded!
    I honestly dont think I have a pair of sock without holes in them {sigh}

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  4. Sounds like you're back in gear - you got a lot done. Lost horseshoes only turn up when you've already had them replaced!

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