Sunday, June 10, 2012

Comrades Back

Today was a hot day and not much on our to do list got done. Instead all our horses were ridden or ground worked. I even used a bit of Clinton Anderson thought process to work on Roscoe's mane. Roscoe absolutely believes he should have a long mane. Mom and I believe he should have a shorter mane. Before today, he was winning.
I grabbed the old clipper blade and had Mom hold him. Then I began using the blade on his mane. I kept going even when he backed, wiggled, shook his head or moved forward. Eventually he stood still and I stopped. After scratches and praise, I started again. This time he stayed still and only shook his head a little. Finally the third time he did not even shake his head at all. These Cobs are so smart. I am glad there is hope of shortening his mane.
On the Rosemary vs trailer issue it is going well. Since the training on Wednesday we have fed her breakfast on the trailer. Mom walks her to the trailer, I hold her food at the front. Rosemary has decided she wants to walk on by herself. Well the joke is on her, we are thrilled at her self loading. Once she is on I let her have a few bites and then tell her to back. With only the verbal command she backs off the trailer. We repeat the process until she finishes her food. Each day she has gotten better. Hopefully we will be able to load her with only one person in the future.
And to end the day we went to Peggy's to ride Comrade. This was the first time that Mom had seen Comrade since the show. I knew when I started walking him around that he was feeling much better. After using some lateral to warm him up I asked for trot. For the first time since the show he gave me push from behind. And he rounded softly.
Then he surprised me by moving into Right lead canter. He has done that going to the left, but not the right. I went with it for a few strides, then brought him back to trot. Then I asked for the canter on the short end and asked him to open on the long side. He opened so smoothly and closed up when I asked. We crossed the diagonal and I set him up for a simple change. This is something new that I asked of him and he took it, ha ha, in stride. Both Mom and Peggy were impressed. I worked the left lead in the same way. It was so nice to have him feeling "normal" again. To end I asked him to open his trot and he did. Luckily going lame after a lengthening at the show did not discourage Comrade.
His reward was to go jump on trail. There are two jumps near the trail head and nearby coming up a hill are three small jumps in a row.  So we trotted down the hill and made the turn to the three jump line. He trotted flat over the first and second and gave me some effort over the third. I moved him on to the two jumps and he was a bit lazy. Take 2 was better. I asked him for more and he gave me a better jump. He rounded nicely over on of the upper jumps. By this point he was doing his cocky trot and basking in Peggy's praise.  We did the set one more time. Mom had me think canter before the jumps to get the push. Comrade made the turn to the first jump, focused and planted and pushed over the fence landing at canter. He maintained the canter to the next jump and over. I had to check his speed to the third and he waited, added a stride and jumped it great. He continued to canter to the fourth, up and over and on to the last. Heading towards home he got a bit strong, but came back to me before the last jump. It was an excellent effort.
Mom had us do trot canter transitions up the hill to finish the lesson. It took him a few transitions to figure out he needed an extra push on the hill. Overall after the last two weeks of lameness, Comrade came back stronger and ready to work.


  1. Sounds like a really productive day with the horses. Seems like the more time I spend at the barn, the longer my to do list gets! ;)

  2. You are sooo right. They seem to multiply during the summer.