a second ride

It was late morning when we arrived to ride Koda & Nemo for a second time this week. They are still at the trainers, which limits our rides for various reasons. The reality is summer is almost over, therefore we are being pro-active in getting in a second weekly ride. I am happy to say we accomplished that yesterday.

Koda slinking over to me, yep it's time to go to work.
I was happy Koda came to me in the pasture when I called him, albeit slowly. Can't really blame his slow-mo, it was really hot yesterday. We usually ride in the evenings when they are already back in their stalls, and it's starting to cool off. It was nice to ride midday, and have more time to groom. I got to condition and brush Koda's long beautiful mane & tail. I haven't figured out who enjoys it more. 

Of course that meant Brad & Nemo were well into their ride before we even got out to the arena. Not only do they move faster in general, but Brad isn't one to socialize until after they ride. I snapped a pic of them before I mounted. You'll notice Nemo's head is still pretty high, but he has really slowed down and is getting better overall.

Brad & Nemo loping
Altho I am making progress with Koda, we aren't there yet. I am still working on having the confidence to correct his naughty/disrespectful behavior before it grows. I got an earful yesterday, and while I fully understand what our trainer is saying - and why - it's still hard for me. Sigh. 

On a more positive note, our turns, spins and side passes are improving. Still a ways to go, but I love doing them! I don't think Koda minds them either. He continues to be fun to stop at a lope, and really gets his butt under him. Sometimes he ends up doing a little slide :) It would be fun to learn to slide, but it sounds like an ordeal with the boots, shoes etc. He would be good at it, maybe someday down the road.

The past couple rides I worked on learning to see & feel the correct lead at a lope. Something I've never been able to do. It gets old having to ask/be told. It doesn't help Koda's counter canter is pretty darn smooth. I intentionally cued a counter canter, and that helped me feel the difference when starting out. Earlier this week Trainer Patty suggested we do a fast stop on one. Koda's right leg swung out, that visual and uncomfortable feel made even more sense. It helped his front leg has a white pastern. When things are going smooth, I am trying to see by glancing down at his shoulders. The feel just isn't there yet, but I am trying. How do you tell if your horse is on the correct lead at a lope? 


Jeni said...

Good for you! Leads are hard. I still sometimes lean over and look. Bonnie always picks up wrong lead to the right because an old injury to her hip. Once loping, I shift my weight and change the lead. I tend to be able to feel the lead better if I do smaller circles.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

HAve you tried closing your eyes? sounds scary but practice at a walk and trot , gives you a real feel for whare your horses feet are

aurora said...

Jeni, I'll have to see if I can divide my attention while doing smaller circles. Makes sense.

No, I have not ever closed my eyes on Koda. That requires more trust then I have in him. I have closed my eyes in previous lessons (years ago) for that exact reason, but had all but forgotten. Thanks for mentioning it Fern, I like the concept!

Once Upon an Equine said...

Sounds like good progress. I have trouble feeling what the feet are doing underneath me too sometimes.