I have not been riding much lately which always makes me grouchy but the bit I have been able to do has been a blast. My cousin leases my pastures for his goats and cows so the gat has been open to his 30 acres.
I have been riding on this land on Cerise and letting Remi and Tess follow along. Cerise, being a Fire horse temperament likes my personal attention but my other 2 yahoos are happy to do their own thing. While Tess and Remi are playing around, Cerise and I focus on some fun training exercises.
My cousin has the bottom of the hill that I live on and his pastures are flat with great footing. I have a barrel pattern set up and the fields are perfect for nice long trotting and loping. Cerise and I have been working on our timing and turning with only leg and seat aids. In my pasture I have to dodge so many rocks and stumps that it is hard to go very far without reaching for a rein.
In Sonny’s pasture I can practice timing my leg turning aids to when Cerise is lifting a certain leg. If I miss the timing I can try again until it works because the ground is flat and free of obstacles. Riding with one hand sure does point out where Cerise is bent incorrectly and if I am not sitting straight. As a Fire horse temperament, Cerise loves this kind of work as long as I never drill on it.
When it comes time to head for the house I have to round up Tess and Remi. Boy do their different horse temperaments show up. Remi, being a Metal/Earth(Yang Ming) wants to stay and eat. Tess, as a tricky, Wood/Fire(Jue Yin) thinks the game is on.
When I first started coming into Sonny’s pasture both Tess and Remi stayed close since Cerise is their leader but once they got comfortable with the pasture they stopped staying so close. The first time they would not follow me I decided to drive them. I was amazed at how rude Remi was to Cerise when I was on her. Cerise rules with iron hooves in the pasture but I guess Remi did not think she could back up her demands with me on her. When I asked him to move off he put his ears back and kicked up at us.
Well, I could feel Cerise’s Fire horse temper flare and I am sure she took care of business once she got Remi back in their pasture. I am pretty sure I saw a few hairless places on his butt the next day. Tess on the other hand was very respectful of Cerise but in true Jue Yin horse temperament form, she made the trip home as difficult as possible while still acting totally innocent.
Our next ride into Sonny’s pasture I came armed with my flag. With the flag as an extension of may arm and a bit scary I was able to maneuver both Tess and Remi back through all four gates despite Tess ducking off into the bushes every chance she got.
This herding exercise is a prefect way to practice my one hand riding and keep Cerise working off my legs and seat. It also teaches her to continue to pay attention to me even when the energy of the moment is high. This should really help us with our barrel racing. I consider what I am doing with my horses now as more play than work yet they are all getting training in one way or the other. It sure is teaching me a lot about what they like to do for fun when they get the chance. Madalyn