AQHA Young Horse Development Program Heat and dust pretty much sum up August here at the ranch. We had the hottest day of the year, a whopping 108 degrees. Towards the end of the summer, you can see everything begin to tire from the dry heat. Dust blankets the rocks and trees, and every step brings its own cloud of dust. Needless to say everyone here is ready for rain and the feeling of fall in the air. We have been blessed to have minimal fires in the area but we have yet to let down our guard.
With the heat being so intense, riding time has been cut short and cool down time has been extended. Our rides have consisted of strengthening exercises, large fast circles, small slow circles, rundowns, small slides, spins and lead changes. I feel that I can now put some pressure on Larry to give small stops. Within the past two weeks, Larry has had tremendous growth both physically and mentally. Over the course of a week, he has learned to slide confidently. We still need to work on his nose placement, but that will come with time.
At this point in Larry’s training I feel confident that he will be ready to show in the spring. As many know, its futurity season for the cow horse. Whether I am attending in person or watching online, this is one of my favorite events of the year to watch. It is a great event to learn and gain inspiration from. As with any crazy horse owner I can't help but daydream about my own colt making it to the futurity. By my own colt, I mean Larry, of course. I may not train my horses on track with a futurity schedule, but I know that if they are strong enough mentally and physically, they can make up for lost time.
After riding Larry today we went to look at some of my favorite views on the ranch. I cannot express the importance of letting your horse be an all around horse. I have been on well trained colts that have never stepped foot out of the arena with a rider aboard. They have zero confidence leaving the common area and going out to explore.
Much like us, a horse can get into the grind of their job and training without the ability to “escape”. An escape for us could be a day or weekend trip somewhere. A “get away” or a time to “refresh”. A horses escape can be as simple as taking a walk outside of the arena.
I like to take my colts out when they have a good enough handle to help them through a potentially scary situation. I can take Larry out by himself without him worrying about leaving fellow barn mates. His ears are perked and he is ready to explore. I would like to thank PCQHA for the opportunity to share Larry and I’s journey. I would also like to thank the Lazy K Ranch for such an awesome and talented colt.
You can find more from Larry on FB via Laid Back Larry and on Instagram by LazyKat.