Olympus Ranch Stables

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Day 1 Back in the Saddle

Varro was a complete JERK for the farrier this morning. I am so disappointed (and embarrassed) The farrier was kind, patient and gentle the whole time! Varro did a lot of "fake spooking" pulling his leg back and stomping when the farrier let his hoof down. I am completely responsible for his rotten behavior. Varro cannot sit for any length of time, he must be worked on a regular basis.... It starts TODAY!

This afternoon after lunch, I got Varro out and started in the round pen. I did a quick grooming, put on his wraps and bell boots then started free lunging him. We worked on the canter right off the bat. I kept him going in one direction until he had a steady tempo then changed direction. In the new direction I asked for tempo plus his undivided attention. It took nearly 20 minutes (10 in each direction) for him to calm down enough to focus on me and to maintain a steady tempo in the canter. I asked him to the center and let him relax for a few minutes then tacked up (saddle, no bridle yet) and checked his wraps to make sure everything was still snug and comfy. On the second round of lunging I asked for a steady tempo in the trot. I changed direction every 3-4 laps until I was getting a nice extended type of a trot and Varro was really engaging his hind end. This took another 20 minutes or so. I checked his tack after this to make sure the girth was still tight (which it wasn't) and then put his bridle on. He was dripping in sweat and was quite tired. I thought to myself "A tired horse makes for an uneventful ride!" I was right. All Varro wanted to do was drop his head and free walk. We worked on walk/trot transitions then walk/free walk transitions until he had cooled down. Our saddle time was only about 15 or 20 minutes but I consider this a successful ride.

After I untacked him I gave him a well deserved rinse off. He LOVES to get sprayed off, so it was a treat all the way around! After the rinse, I walked him over to the horse trailer and gave him a treat (like we did in California) Tomorrow will be another ride and I will add something new until we have our routine down!

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