The weather was cooler this past weekend – finally!-, and Buckshot’s energy was good. We worked on some of the goals I planned and had a good time. We mostly worked on stamina by trotting longer, and trying to canter longer. It is hard for me to get the feel of Buckshot in the canter, much less extend the feel to help him canter longer. That is a tall order. And of course, trying it for one or two days is nothing; it might take weeks and weeks to achieve even a small measure of it.
Using split reins was a little clumsy on my part. Both days I let one rein accidently drag on the ground and Buckshot stepped on it (while I was on the ground). Adjusting the length of the rein in my hands was much harder, and frankly, now I’m questioning why I even want to use split reins. English buckled reins are much easier for me- easier to shorten and lengthen, easier to maneuver. I am wondering about this.
Neck reining consistently was also a little clumsy. Buckshot was responsive and willing with both of these changes, but at times it was confusing. I don’t know if neck reining is all that important.
So it was a weekend of mixed results. Through it all, Buckshot was willing and cooperative. I appreciate that about him. I am also of mixed feelings about continuing going to the reining clinics. I think that Buckshot and I may be more comfortable working on our patterns and riding at our home farm, rather than with reining show horses in training. I am uncomfortable with some of the comments made about him, and so I am thinking about not continuing that activity. We can do a lot of fun activities right at home and that is appealing to me. I am a little dismayed by it all – my eager new goals, riding with show horses, an instructor that professionally trains reining horses to go to the highest levels, which isn’t my interest at all,- and a little out of sorts by some stresses at work, so I’m not in my usual optimistic mood. But I look forward to seeing Buckshot again soon, and hope that the weather continues to cooperate with us. Hope you had a wonderful autumn ride with your special horse!