Today I hauled Cartman and Buddy over to the river to ride our jogging trail and the sand flats.
Since I have been mainly riding Cartman out on the trail this summer we haven't been working enough on our arena type exercises. I've notice that he is getting a bit lazy on the aids, and just wants to plow straight ahead- and do it quickly.
We started out by doing some halts, leg yields, and turn on the haunches (western style- with one hand on the reins).
I've been thinking back to last year and the clinic with Jack Brainard. I realize that I haven't done much to further his training in the arena. He can still complete the exercises but probably hasn't progressed as much as he should have in a year.
I feel badly about this and will formulate some sort of plan to rectify it.
It's funny, I think sometimes our personalities mirror our horses.
I love to go and gallop, love the endurance riding, love to jump, love to show, and love to take lessons and study training but when push comes to shove I am a bit lazy. I sometimes have trouble getting through the day to day stuff.
Perhaps this is partially due to my job being busy in the summer when the weather is good. In the winter work is slower- but I detest hauling out to ride in the rain.
Keeping my horse at home, I end up riding alone probably 95% of the time. When I boarded my horse I had many friends at the barn and always someone to hang out and ride with. I'm not a real social person but obviously having the social network of riding buddies helped me stay motivated.
My recent obsession with going to the gym is a direct result of joining the team training classes. Just knowing that I've committed to be there gets me out of bed at 4am. There is no way this would have worked for me without that aspect.
Back to today's ride....
We got a good aerobic workout and Cartman got nice and sweaty... on his neck. Buddy stayed right with us the whole time, other than when we ran into a lady jogger with a large Standard Poodle. Bud was behind at that point and the dog came tearing over towards Cartman.
I pulled up and faced the dog and just then Buddy burst out of the Scotch Broom and went racing towards the dog, tail wagging.
The poodle was having second thoughts about approaching us now and both the jogger and I took off going opposite directions and our dogs followed suit. Whew.
We ended up going about five miles and the dog's tongue was dragging the ground as we got back to the truck! He loves nothing more than to go with the horse.
I would have loved to do a 12 mile loop today but unfortunately Weyerhauser has locked us out of using their timber lands to ride July through January :( I could get a gate key and access the logging roads, but the 6month pass is $150, and since they are now letting people drive in with the pass I'm not sure it will be as safe to ride as before.
Its really sad to me that lack of trail access may make it even harder to train for endurance in this area. We do have the 5 mile path but the county refuses to enforce their own rules (no ATVS, no 4 wheeling) and the path has been destroyed in several areas by people in 4 wheel drives. If my horse wasn't very dependable I would be scared to ride him down there nowadays.
I want to be somewhere with endless trails, that doesn't rain 9 months of the year!!!!!