Monday, July 12, 2010

Sign of Progress

Our weather this summer has been all over the place. We went from a late spring/early summer that looked more like late winter right into record July heat. I swear my AC worked overtime all last week and I was up at the crack of dawn so I could get Legs schooled before it got too hot.

Now, today the temperatures have plummeted. Poor Legs was standing in his stall without a blanket telling me off because he was cold. His hair was all puffed up trying to trap more heat to keep the poor guy warm.

I thought I would grab his blanket to just take it along to the park. Then I planned on putting it on after my ride but Legs had other ideas. The minute I entered his stall with his halter, lead and blanket Legs dove for the blanket. Rooting around with his nose trying to find the opening, Legs made it clear he wanted his blanket and he wanted it NOW! Thank you very much!!

Abandoning my short shirt sleeves of yesterday, I could understand how the poor horse felt. Instead of just a Tee I was now back to layers.........three of them to be exact. The morning was just that cool.

I figured once I got to the park and began working I'd shed at least one of those layers but that turned out not to be the case. Between the cools temps and the winds whipping around I was wishing I had another layer to add instead of one to subtract. I nearly lost my baseball cap a couple of times because of wind gusts. Really it felt more like March than July.

I can't believe this is supposed to be summer but at least the reported showers didn't arrive. I managed to get some real ride time in the arena. That makes actually 6 schooling days in a row where I've been able to work on level ground. For this season, that sets the record.

I've been lucky most of the time if I could get a day or two in the arena because the footing has been so soggy and slick. Most of the time I've been riding Legs on the trails in the back because the ground was good even when the arena sucked. If it wasn't for those trails my horse would be in no kind of shape at all. Still doing that kind of work didn't tell me what I could expect on the flat. They are just two very different kinds of things.

I can't even tell you the difference in my horse when I actually get to spend some riding time schooling in the arena. I was beginning to get discouraged thinking we really were making no progress at all. Now with those six days of consecutive arena work, I see we really have made progress.

The difference between that ride last Monday and today is huge. Even last Monday I could see where our hill work had paid off. I just had no idea how much strength the horse really had achieved until I got the chance to test it with our collected work.

About the time I think we're at the that goal I was working to achieve, I am finding my horse has more to offer. It is just so cool. Better and better from amazing in the first place is beyond believable at this point. Things are really beginning to fall into place for Mr Legs!

The horse still must have a lot of support to get "there." However, it's taking less and less time to get the desired response. Sometimes I'm actually getting it immediately with the request instead of having to maneuver the horse into the right place to give him no other option but what I'm asking.

I think about Jody Strand commenting at this clinic , "Wow, he really makes you work for it!" He was totally right.

"Yupe, that's my boy! He's got it in there but he just hasn't quite figured out what IT is." or at least that's how it was at the clinic. Those days are becoming less and less and I'll bet Jody Strand would be pleasantly surprised at the horse I have today. I know that I am.

To be continued........

Gremlins in the Woods

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  1. A testament to a good horse and a hard working rider ! way to go you and Leggs

  2. Will try again. First, thanks for checking in. Have missed u too!
    Maggie ended up having to have surgery, but is fine now. Spent a week in horse ICU, oh my!!! Yes there is such a thing!!!
    We postponed our vacation due to her illness. She finally got all fours underneath her and we left for our trip. Found where we would like to live after we leave Texas!!! Exciting news!
    Came home to your blog and was shocked to hear of your troubles!! I am so sorry! Know that you are in my thoughts. I left a looong message about your situation. Then it would not post. I have had this trouble before, but maybe this will go thru.
    Hang in there. will talk soon. much love!!!

  3. Hope things are going better for you. And please send us some of the cooler temps. I'm meeelting!

  4. Legs sounds like he's doing great.

  5. yeah, we need the cooler temps too! Glad things are finally starting to come together for Legs!