Sunday, June 06, 2010

Storms on the Way

Will It Make Up Its Mind?

In know it's not human, but the weather is so fickle today!  This morning it was unbearably hot. C's hubby, henceforth referred to as CH, came over in the morning to repair my doors.  Meanwhile C rode over through the woods on  her horse just to visit.  It was hot and windy.  JJ, her horse, an Arab was spooking at all kinds of wind monsters in the woods.  

So I brought them both into the arena for a little evaluation/lesson thingie.  JJ tends to carry his head up, as some Arabs do.  (Lockie used to say it was to keep the sand out of their noses....*G*)  He is stiff on the left and hollow on the right at the moment. Nothing serious, but typical one sidedness some good dressage work should fix without too much trouble.  Just walking along, I had C do some work to get him to yield to the bit.  He tends to bulge his neck out at the poll and a bit below when he's on the left, blocking the flexing down through his shoulder.  I walked alongside, pushing him where he needed to be in order to bend correctly.  

He was so cute. You could tell he was totally confused, but he kept trying to do at least something in response, even if it meant stopping or backing up.  Then I showed C the Kenny Harlow/John Lyons exercise of giving to the bit--hold rein until horse drops his head, then immediately let go completely.  JJ got the idea at least a little bit and I suspect if C has the time and patience, he will get the concept pretty quickly.  He's a smart boy and really does seem willing.  I think if he can learn to round and lift his back under saddle he will be a much stronger endurance horse, and I'm wagering he will muscle up quite a bit in the wither/neck area.  It will just take some time.  

After C left, I chatted with CH for a while as he finished up the door repairs...beautiful job!!! I am SO happy.  

Then, I came inside for some lunch.  Outside the skies clouded over.  I checked the weather forecast and decided I'd better go for my swim by around one or so.  I was a bit later than that, as the clouds kept gathering.  I swam 12 laps, took three tours in the Lazy River and listened as they announced that they were going to close the big umbrellas because there was a tornado watch in effect.  Out of the river, I headed back to the lap pool and did three more laps for a total of 15 today--closing in on a half mile of swimming--750 meters.  Then, I headed home thinking I might get a ride in while the clouds and wind cooled things off.  

Changed clothes, and headed out to the barn, only to find the sun out again and the heat back on in full force. So I decided to feed the Boys instead--just done with that.  Of course, now the clouds and wind are back, but the radar map doesn't show any storms for another couple hours, yet.  So, I may let the Boys digest their food and then saddle someone up for a short ride.  

Time will tell. Supposedly the heat is going to break with this storm front. Hope nothing else breaks along with it. *sigh*

Aha addendum:  The storms failed to appear and the warning was canceled. However, shortly before dark and cool front did come in with sharp breezes and temperatures dropping to the beautiful 60's F.  So I headed out to ride a bit.  Chance seemed quite interested in the affair so I caught him while Toby and Tucker rather pointedly made their way out to the pasture.

I have to admit that Chance has not really deteriorated much in his training, a good sign that the basics I've worked on have actually stuck.  He stretched nicely in the walk, although he still tends to fall to one side or the other with his body if I don't focus on riding him straight between the reins.   The same is true for his trot, so I have to really work my body to shape his body correctly.  He tries to drop inside with his left shoulder and drop me off to the right.  If I concentrate on keeping my seat to the left, I can keep him rounded, but if I end up on the right seatbone, I push him into that left shoulder.

But again, while it is physical work, as long as I sit correctly, I can fix his crooked tendency without too much trouble.  The biggest improvement is in the canter where he no longer throws his head on the depart and is seeking some contact with the bit.  And better yet, the right lead no long rushes off but is starting to get some balance.

I did not ride long--perhaps 20 minutes at the most, but it was a good start for both of us.  Now if the promised weather forecast is right, the week should be really nice.  I'm sure it won't be quite as lovely as tonight is, but I should be able to get some more riding in without getting heatstroke.

A nice change of pace.  


  1. I just drove through a mega storm up in N.Y. it wasn't pretty with the lightning and the rain was so bad people had to pull over. The wipers couldn't keep up. There was also tornado watches posted on the news. Hope they never come by.

    Sounds like your friend is getting some good lessons and advice for her boy. Glad your doors are fixed and you at least got a good swim in.

  2. Tornado Watch? How uncivilized.