Monday October 1 2012
I tacked Cooper all up and first did some ground work with the 12' lead and rope halter, falling leaf, c-pattern to the back of the arena and then to the front. We did some responsibility circles at a trot and he maintained them for the most time, a few times I had to cluck and just raise the stick and he continued on. The we did some Clinton Anderson changing eyes stage 1. I put the bridle on and did a little giving to the bit and clock work. I had to stay in the middle while doing the ground work as there were others in the arena, 2 riding and another doing groundwork.
I had a hard time getting my foot in the stirrup, it seemed so high and yet I had it down a hole. Also struggled getting my leg over the cantle as usual. We stood at the mounting block for a few minutes, just relaxing and doing some flexing with the bridle. Then we walked off staying on the inside, doing some serpentine at a walk, yielding the hindquarters and lowering his head and trying to lengthen the rein which was hard for me. I was a little tense in my legs, trying to relax them as we walked along. Once I felt comfortable I started off on a trot/jog and just as I started one of the horses spooked and bolted, Cooper jumped sideways with his head high and the other riders horse almost took off too. Noises were coming from the feed room, the crinkle of feed bags and of feed being poured into bins set them off. Cooper walked by the door and saw the girl in the feed room then when we passed it the noise from the bags happened again and he jumped, but it was just a little one and I managed to keep him on the path.
He seemed to be dragging himself around tonight, I think he was tired and sore. I don't work him hard but tonight was the 4th night in a row for being worked. Sunday he had a good workout with another rider who just started to ride him, which included cantering that he's not used to.
We did a few circles in the close end of the arena and when we got near the back I just walked him until we got back to the front and trotted again.
We practiced walk and whoa on the rail and then went into the middle and did it as the other 2 started cantering on the rail. We had a few good stops with the verbal whoa and one time he started to stop just from my seat, making progress One time when there was no one near me I did a whoa and went into a back up and the next thing I know there is another rider right beside me yelling circle, then she was right behind me as I was backing. I said sorry and she said sorry but I don't really know who was in the wrong. I think riders on the rail have the right of way but she circled in right behind me, I am still learning the arena rules. I have been told to stay in the middle when I am doing groundwork but I was riding and still staying in the middle out of the other riders way.
Then we did some turn on the haunches and turn on the forehand. I had the elastics on my feet holding them in the stirrups so I managed to get my foot back to have him yield.
Al rubbed his legs and stifles with Green Cool and I stretched him on all 4 legs. Didn't braid his mane or tail so hope he doesn't find anymore burrs.
Going to give him a few days off, we might go see him tonight but not going to ride. He's getting his feet trimmed today so just going to groom, maybe take him in arena on the 12' rope and check him for soreness then give him a treat.