Sunday, August 3, 2014

What are brakes?

I mentioned in an earlier post that Tango and I have a bit of an issue with brakes.

Tango'd rather charge about, stick his head on his chest, and fight the halt. 'Persistence,' some might say, 'just keep executing regular transitions.'

Others might say 'if he can't be controlled at the canter, only trot him for a while!'

Excellent advice. I mean that, it's very good advice. He's only been on the property for a week. Patience and transitions might really be the key.

Except for my ego. Brakes and trailers. I'd be lying to you if I said I had talent at much else. I can install brakes in pretty much anything in usually one ride, and it takes me 20 minutes to get the worst horse onto a trailer. It's what I've built my empire (hehehe) on. So six rides later and my douche canoe is still racing about like a NASCAR pony? Nope.

 This is where we'll recall that I have spent my fair share of time dabbling in natural horsemanship. Not parelli, no, one dangerous horse early in my career cured me of that. Mostly Clinton Anderson. He's so tall and attractive anyhow that watching his DVDs was a nice little rest in my day.

Enter: Cruising. Are CA's exercises progressive? Yup. Can you pick one at random and just see how it goes? CA might have a heart attack. But we did it anyhow.

Cruising involves letting the horse take over direction and all that, and the only thing you insist upon is that they maintain their gait. So with a few (four) transitions from the trot to the walk to check if we had any brakes at all, off we went a-galloping.

I wish I'd asked someone to tape it.

He RACED around that arena for what Em swears was thirty minutes while he heaved and his shoes clacked occasionally and I just hoped we didn't trip or pull a shoe. We think he ran 8 miles before he got tired and slowed down. At which point my out-of-shape self had quaking knees and a serious thirst to get out of horses.

Then we changed direction.

Eiiiiiii anyhow brakes were pretty decent after he was foaming over his entire body.

Check out the improved canter:

Silly kids and their vertical videos. I'm pretty pleased with the result, despite how hard it was on him. He's sound today, so that's a plus. He's going to get the day off anyhow. I am, too!

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