Feb 23, 2012

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I’m glad I got out for a ride (yesterday)  because this is what we woke up to today. Ug. It IS February, but we haven’t had snow in so long that it feels like an early spring storm. It’s really NOT spring …. yet, so I can’t complain. Besides, it’s already turned into drizzle and the temps are supposed to rise again. By tomorrow this snow will all be gone. Meanwhile though, it’s a lot of mess. Bullet makes me laugh, with his little dollop of snow right in the middle of his forehead. He’s such a character, that boy!

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Dharla and I did another easy ride down the AL trail. Worked on getting a nice relaxed trot. It was VERY windy again, so I give Dharla a lot of credit for being so calm. Every now and then a really strong gust would make her a bit goosey, but overall she held it together very well. She was a bit sticky at the first rocky ledges area, but I used my legs to cue her forward and when she tried to turn the opposite way, a light tap at the girth with the stick helped reenforce my request and she complied with little fuss. (Yay!)

At the second rock ledge area where she’s given some resistance, she proceeded to walk on, albeit with great caution. I gave her lots of encouragement and praise and made sure I was using a slightly animated forward motion with my seat. That really seems to help. Looking back, when we come to this spot I think I anticipate a battle and I probably tense up in my lower back and brace in the ankles a bit too. Making sure I’m ultra relaxed and using my seat to strongly encourage forward motions helps a bunch. It’s probably safe to say that Dharla and I have gotten into a bit of a tense vicious cycle at these two spots and focusing on relaxing and using the stick to reenforce my cue should help clear this up.

The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful and pleasant. Dharla is such a good girl and I’ve had a couple of very nice rides the last week or so.