I snuck away from work for a little while today, in the middle of my second 12 hour day in a row. Because I only had a very small window, I just tossed Tristan on the longe line nekkid. Halter only.
He was pretty up, and blew right through my commands to start with, and did a fair amount of bucking and farting and cavorting when I asked him to walk on. Then the apprentice barn dog, a 12 week old Australian Shepherd, thought it would be great fun to caper about with him, and Tristan agreed.
Tris actually loves dogs and the puppy was lucky that was the case; he would run a step or two along with Tris, and Tris took off bucking and farting. The puppy spooked and sprinted back in the aisle and then snuck back in for a few more steps.
I don’t mean to say I was making light – the puppy was clearly not allowed in the ring, but Tris was being enough of a handful that I couldn’t shoo the puppy out myself. He would leave the ring when ordered but only for a few seconds, and after three or four play attempts the barn manager arrived and dragged him back to his crate in the tack room.
After that, Tristan settled down to be a bit more workmanlike. He had some nice stretching out and some big forward movement. We worked on transitions for a while, particularly tracking left. His left hind has always been weaker, so we really worked hard at walk-trot and trot-canter transitions on voice command. They sharpened up nicely, and we schooled them a bit to the right.
Tristan is so often so laid back and quiet that it’s easy to let him be a little sloppy in his voice commands, so today was a good opportunity to really drill those. We also worked on halt-walk and ground tying. I also worked a bit with a new voice command I’m installing, turn on the longe line. It’s only useful when longeing in his halter like this. He turns to the right nicely but doesn’t always want to turn to the left.
In all, I was pleased with the work he did, even if it was only 25 minutes or so. I had a nicely forward and responsive horse, who kept one ear and eye on me at all times and was responding to my body language. I’ll get up early tomorrow before work to ride, and then Sunday and Monday am covering for barn chores so I’ll ride after both those days as well.