Rain and I did a lot of slow work this week to refine maneuvers and keep cool in the intense heat we have had. I also spent a lot of time thinking of different ways to rearrange what we have in our arena to create new obstacles. I deconstructed some of our log jumps to create larger walk/jog over poles. I modified our bridge to make it higher, we drug anything and everything that we could tie a rope to (bags of cans, logs, balloons, tarps, you name it), and when we hauled our gear to another arena Rain helped set everything up. I carried barrels, pole bending poles, and jumps all from the saddle. Rain is quite the worker, and loves having something to do, but he also is great with ground tying and will stand patiently while obstacles that can't be carried or drug get rearranged on foot.
With only about a month left to go, we have started to really think about our freestyle. It has been a brainstorming process to think of what will be fun and entertaining, but will also showcase the versatility and willingness of the OTTB. I have a few ideas that I have narrowed it down to, and hope to test out a few ideas this week before really putting together a routine. Although, here is a small training tip for this week... When you have something such as a freestyle, or a routine type of some kind in competition it is good to remember to practice parts rather than the whole routine together. It is OK to do a run-through, but in order to prevent your horse from rushing maneuvers or obstacles, its a good idea to practice things in different orders than you will eventually have to preform them.
I have a few less photos this week, as we did a lot of solo work at times of the day when no one else was at the barn. As you can see, balloons were a tom of fun, patience has greatly improved, and there is nothing like a good roll after a ride and a bath. Make sure to check in to our Facebook page this week, as I hope to bring in a friend to get some photos and video, and hopefully I can get the gopro into action as well.