Did quite a bit of groundwork with Rodeo today. Started off with the exercise the trainer gave us. He did good with that. Then I started throwing the lead rope around him, over his back, his neck, around his legs, and he was good for that. I even ended up tying a plastic bag to the end of a dressage whip and doing some work with that, but he was completely unphased by it all. I was even able to do the unthinkable, well something Ive never been able to do as of yet, and he let me completely cover his eyes with a shirt!! Outstanding progress if you ask me! I was very proud of him!! Then I just did some work with body pressures. Walked towards his hind quarters, and he disengaged them, walked towards him, and he backed up, walked towards his neck, and he would walk away. So overall it was an excellent day!!
Tacked Rodeo up in English tack today. Surprisingly, my English bridle that didnt fit him a few months ago fits him great now! Wanted to work on trot work a little a bit more today. I could get him into a trot, but a few strides later he would jam on the breaks and walk. So every time he did this I would fall forward and lean on his neck, and he would stop to make sure I regained my balance. Which this just let me know that I really need to work on my seat some more. Well we continued to work, and I could just tell he was raring to go. So I decided to hop off and lunge him a bit, and oh my!!! He took off like a bucking bronco, and then into a racehorse raring to go!! I would much rather him do that on the lunge than under saddle though. I ended up taking off his saddle and work on lunging a bit more, and ended up getting on bareback!!! Which was a first for us. But I also discovered in doing this, that although I have been riding a lot, my seat is awful!!! So we will be working more on bareback riding, which I dont think he will mind too much.
After I hopped off, I took him for a cool off walk, which is beyond important to me, I dont want any chance of him tying up, or colicing what so ever! Beyond excited about going out in the next few days. Will most likely be doing ground work though as I have neglected that in the past week or so.
Gave Rodeo another good grooming session today! I wasnt feeling too well and had an awful headache all day, but I felt that I should go to the barn and see Rodeo nonetheless. He was really happy to see me, and had a big wet spot on his side from laying in his stall. I groomed him real nice, which isnt hard with the shine he has going right now, and then braided his mane and tail. He wasnt too sure about his tail being braided, probably because I had never done it before and I was probably pinching him and prodding him while doing it :D
Finally got out to the barn today! Work has been CRAZY and I am beyond exhausted from this past week! Ended up riding Rodeo, havent done any work with him since Thursday, so I was curious as to how he would be. He was definalty a lot more forward but not in a bad way. He did really well, we started out in the arena and walked around the barrels and just warmed up a little bit. Then we went out of the arena and took off towards the end of the driveway, he did really well too! Stopped at a few different spots, but once he figured out that it was time to work, and I meant busniness he went. He ended up spooking as we approaced the end of the driveway/start to the trai. But he settled fast, jumped to the side and stared and wa okay. So since we accomplished so much I decided to turn him around. As we got closer to the barn I decided to try to go up the beginning of the trail a bit, and he stipped at first and got over it and continued, and once again I turned him around before we got over our heads. He is looking really good too! Feels right being on him, and its an outstanding feeling thinking of how far we have come since our first day together!
Since its been about a week since Ive been on Rodeo, I thought that today should be a good day to hop on. I wanted to go around the trail like we did yesterday with ground driving, but that sure didnt happen. He was awfully slow in the arena, but once I pointed him towards the gate, off we went into a nice forward, steady walk. Things were going great, and then he just stopped. I got him going and once again we were going good, got half way up the driveway and another dead stop. I dont know what was going on so we ended up backing over it, turned him and off we went again, which I guess in techinal terms, it would have been a roll back, just must slower!! Forward again, got about 3 strides, and right back to a dead stop. At this point in time I was getting frustrated, but didnt want my emotions to get the better of me, so I stopped, relaxed, took a deep breath, turned him around and backed him over it again. Then I just had him walk a few strides, and stopped and turned him around before we had to do all that all over again. Im thinking that next time I ride and he does this, I just need to twirl the ropes on my saddle, I think that will be just enough to get him going!
Today I went and groomed Rodeo in his stall. He hasnt always had the best stall manners, since I got him, so why not work on them? So I brushed him off, threw the surcingle on, put the bridle on and went out to the arena. It was hot! I started to warm him up, and shortly after got him going into a nice trot. About 3min of w/t each way, I figured that was enough, so I hooked him up ready to ground drive, and off we went. I decided to try to go out of the arena, and go around the trail around the farm. He did great!! At one point though, it seemed like he was just following the trail more than anything, but non the less, he was great! We had a good trot on the way back to the barn, and I had him go right into the barn and got a nice solid stop. Took the bridle off, took the surcingle off, and just threw a lead rope around his neck and brought him back into his stall. Hes so good!
Everything was so wet from all of the rain at the barn that I figured it would be the perfect day for a full groom! I cant remember the last time I gave him a complete groom, so it was really nice to do. I enjoyed it, and he seemed ot enjoy it! I measured him as well, he is 58in at the withers, and either 60in, or 61in at the withers, cant remember at the moment. After that I decided to take him for a walk, we just went around the arena a few times. It was too funny, I can walk as slow as I possibly can, and he will do the same thing right next to me. He will do the same thing at the trot, and it cracks me up! He was a great little guy today!!
Its been raining nonstop here the past few nights here in NC. Which most likely means that Rodeo has been in the barn for 2-3 days straight! They turn them out at night now, and if it was raining at all, or if any thunder was heard, they will keep them in. So I am very curious to see how he is going to be here tomorrow. Debating on if I want to ride or not, we'll see :D
Got on Rodeo today and worked on more techincal stuff. Giving to bit pressure, one rein stops, turning of the haunches, stretching, ect, ect. He did really great! Even got a few steps of trot in. I did notice that when he had the English saddle on, he trotted more willingly, but then again that could have been because we were in the arena when we tried today. After about 10min of doing that, I hopped off, took off his bridle and threw his halter on. I decided to take him over to the trainer's place next door since I havent had him over there in about a month or so. He did really good, had one big random spook, but besides that he just stood there all tacked up looking like he was ready for the next adventure. Im probably not going to go out to the barn again until Thursday as that is my next day off. Thinking about hopping on him and increasing the riding time slowly but surely.
After we got back I put him back in his stall and ended up staying at the barn for a total of 4-4 1/2 hours!! Felt nice to be out there, and it was a release from the every day work day and what not. I also ended up hopping on Lily, a friend's TWH mare. She was as smooth as butter, going to be strange the next time I get on Rodeo! Stay Tuned :)
I am loving the new bit! I found out today that they dont even know who's bit it is, so I can use it as I please! How neat! I ground drove Rodeo again today, after last session, I wasnt satisfied with how it went. So first I lunged him a bit, and he calmed down pretty fast, there was quite a bit going on at the barn so Im glad I did it this way. After a few minutes of lunging, we started ground driving, he was doing great! So we went and did some circles and some serpentines, a lot more stopping and backing up, slowing down and speeding up, aka, transitions. So It was really good. I decided to take him out of the arena and see how things went there, and he was great!! We went all the way around the arena, and even trotted back. Thats when it hit me, Driving!!!! He was stunning to see move behind, as dorky as that may sound, I have this idea that driving him would be a blast!!! So the research has begun, and we'll see where we go from here. I figure it will give us a break on the riding, and start really getting the bit work down! Wish me luck!