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Eric Hought

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Tempest has had good rides the last few trips. I have ridden her 7 days in a row about 4 miles each ride. She walks probably 3 miles on a loose rein, the rest is at a medium trot on a loose rein. I lope her probably 100-150 yards of that distance. She had Friday and Saturday off because we were at the Mountain Side ride at which Gail finished 26th on the 50 and Plenty finished 27th on the LD 25 her 3rd ride. She won the tail end award and finished brightly.

So, as I saddled Tempest, I didn't lounge her or tie her very long. I stepped onto her and we rode off. My only concern was that we had received 1" of rain on Saturday so the trails were slick.

I trotted her up the hill from the creek, walked over the fallen Redwood tree top and trotted to the gate. She did well. We walked 3/4 of a mile to the old railroad bed. From there we trotted about half a mile. Two motor cycles were headed towards us. They stopped and turned them off. Good kids. We talked briefly and walked on , she did well.

Puddles and water have been a challenge to her but my method of working on that is paying off. She doddled through and around them with not a flinch.

I have changed my routine from trotting hills and walking the flats to trotting the flats and walking the hills. I did that to change the pattern so she doesn't get into a habit. I want to keep her guessing and never attempting to out think me. Anytime she wants to trot, we walk etc. If she is thinking walk and relaxed, I might ask her to trot a 100 feet and walk. Keep it simple. What I am looking for is when I ask her to walk, she drops to the walk immediately and walks flat footed on a loose rein.

The south end of the chair loop has several 4"-6" diameter fallen Alder trees criss crossed on the trail which make great walk overs. She does them slowly and looks at each tree which is the only way that I allow her to go through. If I didn't do that, she would blast through not looking.

I have been unhappy with her through the winter because it was real difficult to maintain a consistent riding program. She seems to be telling me, now that I am riding her everyday, she wants to do it right.

Tempest, as I said earlier, is going to be a good endurance horse. Two Gold stars to Tempest.


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