Sunday, June 20, 2010

Red Mountain

Yesterday, for part of our conditioning, we took Cody & Brego to Red Mountain. Since Tim was on Cody, who walks much more slowly, he had me in front all day. Brego didn't like being in front, and I had to keep his head pointed forward and his pace up. After cantering the past few days with him my thighs were a bit sore, so it wasn't fun squeezing him over and over to make him go. I wasn't feeling relaxed, being in front, with him not responding well. I was gaiting him up the hills when the trail was nice, then later in spots a little more challenging. Tim was prodding me to make him go and give him a good workout. Finally, at the top, we rested a bit, got off and let them eat some grass. After that, Brego was much better about being in front, and I was taking more initiative to gait and canter him in spots. He was good and not nutty about cantering. At one point Tim went in front and sped Cody up to see if Brego would remain in control, and Brego did fine, staying in a gait as I asked, and not trying to catch up with Cody. This is good. We had a good day, rode about 11 miles, and we all got a good workout--including our butts!

This week we will see our saddle maker, to see if he can make some adjustments on our side of the saddle--where we sit. He's got some new kind of chushy material he can add for comfort. Hopefully that will help.

This Thursday we leave for the Black Hills, and look forward to the ride and seeing the friends we've met the past couple of years.

Friday, June 18, 2010


We are conditioning our horses to get ready for the ride we'll be doing next week in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Tim has given me the responsibility of being sure Brego is ready for three days of riding, one of them possibly an 8 hour ride. So, I've been getting out on him alone (without Tim) a few times. It's been a little challenging, but I've done it and am becoming more relaxed.

One day I took him on Tim's favorite loop, which includes riding on CR 64, a paved road where people drive faster. We managed that just fine, although Brego was edgy, being without his other horse pals. We went down the irrigation ditch along 11, just as Tim and I have done before, but Brego was still edgy being alone, so I was, too. I didn't canter him there as planned, I just wanted to feel more comfortable.

One day around the backside of Smith Lake, Brego didn't like the equipment at the inlet, where they let water in from the irrigation ditch. He's been there before, so I wondered if there might be an animal nearby, but nothing was moving and I didn't see anything. Something must have smelled different, I suppose. Brego did NOT want to go near it. He stopped, snorted, veered to the side and backed up. I was nervous, partly because there were people nearby watching. I tried to get him to go over it, but same thing...stop, snort, veer, backup. I was feeling "unsafe", so I went ahead and got off of him and led him across (just after the people waved at me and left in their car). We walked back and forth a couple of times, then I rode him back and forth over it, and he was fine.

Another day I went down 66E to 11 and along those irrigation ditches again, but rather than go up 64, I turned around and came back. We had a good time, and cantered almost all the way down the irrigation ditch and back, with a few stops at the inlets and to cross the road. It was nice! Brego was calm and comfortable and did what I asked. He slowed down nice and stopped nicely. We gaited up and down 66, so he got a nice workout that day.

All in all, he's getting better about being alone, and so am I. And we're both getting stronger.