Thursday, August 1, 2013

It's been a quiet couple of weeks since Roebke's Run, and neither of us seem worse the wear for it. It got REALLY hot for a few day and both of us melted for a while, and then last weekend it got REALLY cold, like in the 50s and raining, although the flies never went away, which lead to this get-up when Royal ate his grain on Saturday.

Winter blanket and fly mask. Only in Minnesota.

I've kind of been doing more Parelli-leveling-up stuff with Royal. Unusual circumstances aside, we can usually do our show stuff mostly competently and I've been trying to keep his brain occupied. I got the 45-foot-line for the first time in a long time, and Royal took to it like a duck to water. He had a brief moment of "OMG ON LONG LINE RUN FAST" before getting his brain back and cantering around like a sane horse. And when we moved to the Touch It game, he decided that touching stuff with his nose was boring and he would just sidepass over it instead.

We've also done some ground-driving on the road, which we seems to enjoy quite a bit. He sets a pretty good pace going away from home until he gets to a place that sort of worries him, and we circle for a bit and he feels better and we keep going. We haven't made it to the Sheep of Death yet, but it'll probably happen soon.

We did have one odd that went wrong, though. I planned on riding in the back pasture, hopefully using the figure-8 pattern in freestyle and finesse, but Royal was not a happy camper. The neighboring cows are by the back pasture, and they are fascinated by Royal and me. And when they are fascinated by us, they move very... slowly... as... a... group... towards... us... and... it's... kind... of... creepy. Like you look away, and look back a bit later, and the whole group is ten feet closer and staring. This unnerved Royal greatly and I couldn't get his brain back. He keep wanting to gallop his willies away, which didn't work. When I tried cantering him in a circle, he was disjointed and flinging himself on the forehand, making it hard to ride. I got off and tried to get him focused on the circle, but he was still all distracted. And then his hind legs got all tangled up and he fell. First his hind leg slid out and he landed on his butt, then he couldn't quite get his forelegs right and lay all the way down. He got up right away and didn't seem hurt, but it was still so weird. The fall seemed to wake him up a bit and even though the cows still creep up on us, he doesn't get as distraught. So, problem solved? We'll see.

Our next show is a dressage schooling show next Saturday. Gotta practice our tests!

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