Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This horse of mine...

Every now and then he blows me away.

It's like he can read my mind. He's always one step ahead of me.

I need to give this boy of mine more credit.

He deserves it.

Saturday Duke and I had one of the best sessions ever! And I really needed it. I'd had a tearful morning...been feeling a bit emotional lately and it all bubbled to the surface Saturday morning. So when I headed down to the barn that afternoon I was ready for something good. I don't know if he sensed my emotions were fragile or what, but from the moment I put the halter on Duke he was unusually compliant and extraordinarily willing to please me. It started with picking out his hooves; as I moved from hoof to hoof there was no fight, no brace...no resistance. I remember thinking to myself Wow, that went really well.

We played around at liberty in the round pen a little bit, then out to the trailer to tack up. I decided to ride in my older Fallis saddle (for several various reasons) and wow, what a difference going back to that saddle made. Duke was amazing. He was soft with just the right mix of go and whoa. On a whim I thought about practicing our side pass so we can open gates. Not one of our strong points (that should read not one of my strong points)! Opening gates by side-passing has been a goal and Saturday after he figured out what I wanted he was side-passing like a dream!!! Oh, you want me to walk sideways toward the gate! Usually he wants to push the gate open with his head, lol!

Our list of goals now are:
  • Briding without the brace
  • Confidence in Zone 4
  • Restoring our draw
That's the short list...there's more but for now those are my immediate concerns. His attitude toward the trailer is improving every week. We have sessions almost every day and bit by bit he's improving. Trailer loading has become a game to him and I'm finally figuring out how to turn everything into a game to keep him engaged, confident and wanting more. I'll have to set up the camera one of these days...it will be interesting to watch that.

We've been trail riding at Hell's Gate State Park twice this year. Great times both days. It was sunny and warm in February, but cold and rainy in March.

All Morgan trail ride, Hell's Gate State Park, February 28, 2010
 L-R: Dona and Duke, Barb and Elvira, ? and Squirrel, ? and Sabrina, Ray and Chelsea, Cary and Martina. Not pictured: Leigh and Ember.

Sheriff's Posse Poker Run, March 21, 2010
Barb and Elvira, Dona and Duke
El and Duke are looking very Morganesque in this pic.

Riders returning in the rain. March 21, 2010