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Wizard Ride 136: Hm.

April 13, 2010

Wizard

Sunday, 4/11/10

After work, I drove out to the barn for an evening ride. I turned Wizard out in the big arena to watch him jog and canter. He enjoyed the big arena, playing and moving out nicely. He usually does a pretty laid-back walk, trot, and little canter, but he broke into a good gallop and seemed to enjoy stretching his legs. If I closed my eyes, it would have sounded a little like a morning at the racetrack for a moment- happy snorting and pounding hooves. I brought him back in the barn and tacked up. We rode under lights in the big outdoor arena. He was very good about standing quietly at the mounting block. We rode for about 25 minutes.

The ride was OK, but he was not as loose or supple as he has been in the past few rides. There was tension in his neck- he braced it where he had been fairly loose and soft all month. And he put his ears back a few times. Hm. Why? Did the deeper footing of the outdoor arena bother him? Did I over-face him with the riding we’ve been doing? Is he sore? Is he reverting to an old behavior? I made sure not to stop when he put his ears back, but I did take it easy. I also introduced a new routine- when I am done with the ride, I dismount, and re-mount at the mounting block for a moment, just to change things up. He’s a clever boy and I need to spice up his routine.

I decided to give him a few days off and I’ll try him again at the end of the week. He is getting a two-week vacation soon anyway, since I’m headed to Kentucky for Rolex and the Kentucky Derby.

Hm.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 15, 2010 11:30 am

    “And he put his ears back a few times. Hm. Why? Did the deeper footing of the outdoor arena bother him? Did I over-face him with the riding we’ve been doing? Is he sore? Is he reverting to an old behavior? I made sure not to stop when he put his ears back, but I did take it easy.”

    horses and dogs do not generalize well so my guess is that he reverted back to a behavior he may not even have known he was doing. You may have to ride him out there on the buckle or some other back-loosening excercise(s) for him to remember and be relaxed. Time and miles, time and miles. You might also think about adding in a specific cue that will become a conditioned relaxer for him.

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