Thursday, April 28, 2016

First Roping Lesson!

Well, I did it. I signed up for Buck Brannaman's H2 clinic coming up this summer. The clinic is described as having some roping, but I don't know the first thing about roping. So I took a lesson this morning, and will continue lessons until the clinic.

After getting some basic instruction, it was clear what I had been doing wrong. I learned the how to hold the rope, how to swing it over my head, how to hold the coils and where to put my left hand, and various tips for hand placement and follow through.

The big bummer is I forgot to bring my rope, as it seems to have this un-fixable twist that messes up my loop. No matter how I untwist it, it gets twisted again and it makes me say very bad words. The teacher had lots of ropes for me to use, and I felt pretty good using his. Of all the shots I took (at a bucket on the ground), I only missed one.

When I came home from work today, I got my rope and practiced some more. Still trouble with the coils and the twisting of the loop. I could get it okay one time, but I'd have to re-un-twist it every time. Ugh. Anyway, I put out a little table upside down, stood on the deck, and practiced. Colin thought it would be funny to get some video to document my frustration and attempts - and success!

I'll practice with Mac while we stand still and see how that goes!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mountain View

I take Mac on trail rides probably 2-3 times per week - it is our favorite thing to do together. Just last week I took this picture. I've taken this picture many times, but it never comes out on camera as it appears to me in person. Usually when we're in the juniper forest, we can't really see anything other than trees. There's one part of the trail where we get this view, but it looks so much prettier in person (and since you can't even see it, I will tell you that we're looking at the snow-covered Cascades through the trees).

I've taken a couple months off from dressage work to just trail ride in my western tack, and most recently I've been using the hackamore versus the snaffle bit. Mac is very good in it and it is fun for me to work on improving my skills with a different tool.

Just this weekend I thought I'd dust off my dressage saddle and give him a schooling in the arena and he was so good! I think perhaps the combination of body work plus some time off either with no work or lots of walking work has made him more willing to do work-work. It is such a good feeling to have him straight in his body, light in my hands and off my legs and to be able to ride from my seat. My hip isn't 100% yet, but it is better enough that I can do more canter work than I have done in a while. Perhaps the break was good for both of us!