He was shedding like crazy, so I took my time trying to get as much off him as I could with our "Original SleekEZ" blade (I have had this one since Traveler!). Sent him on a few rounds of the pen and then worked with just his Matrix pad which he barely flinched after the first 2 toss ups. Lastly some hanging in the round pen (and grazing) while Tessa was my sidekick for a bit as she really wanted dinner! Relatively "short and sweet" work day for him, but I just wanted to do all positives.
|Enjoying the BOT pad time|
My plan was a little more complex this time: groom with BOT pad while doing mane/tail/feet, round pen directional changes, then add the pad and saddle desensitizing, including a new cinch & "new" bridle set up, more round pen work with said new tack set up, riding working on shoulder and hip and speed control (walk only), and lastly finish grooming with BOT pad.
|New reflective brow with Texas star|
I sent him on in the round pen and got him to trot & canter with the new set up without any reaction (wanted to make sure we didn't have a rodeo horse for any reason) and then got on. We worked on our shoulder and hip control, and that seemed to help keep him at a walk though I could tell he really wanted to move more and was wondering why we didn't leave the pen this time! Finished up with a nice brush out and time under the BOT pad while I put his stuff up.
On Saturday 2 boarding horses returned to the barn from a winter away. We got connected and met up to ride Sunday after lunch. Prophecy and Ransom were snoozing in their shelter when I went to catch him. Spent some time grooming and letting him hang under the BOT pad. He really seems to enjoy it and didn't flinch at all when I went to put it on this time (3rd use). That carried over into tacking him up as he remained pretty calm for saddling too. He still kicked up with the cinch, I'm not sure we will ever get that one gone... We rode about 2miles, Prophecy led and followed (as the 2nd horse) nicely. Only had to use some shoulder work techniques at the end when Ruby in the lead got jiggy going back to the barn and he wanted to follow suite. I bet he was cursing David for teaching me that stuff ;) He got to hang out a while again under the BOT pad while Jen & I chatted getting her horses put up and he just snoozed away.
|Pre-ride calmness...eyes closed|
|itchy face post ride|
So now I'm contemplating going to Bull Run at the end of the month...I know I need to decide soon, as the ride is close to full.
This week is chalk full of rain possbily, so not sure what it will bring. Plus, Asher is going to a spring break camp so that throws off our schedules a bit. I might not get back out to him till Friday...we shall see.