I'm not doing much better keeping up with Booker's updates either. We borrowed my dad's .38 and took Booker out to the pasture to try and shoot that a bit. We shot half loads and full loads and there didn't seem to be much difference between the two.
Booker did alright with them outside but we just shot from the ground. We've also shot the .22 a few more times in the arena from the ground and mounted. We figured we'd just keep up shooting a little each time so he doesn't forget. Not sure when we'll start working on the .38 in the arena or from his back. Every time we go out there we come up with new things we should work on with him if we actually remember or get our butts out there more than once a week. Ideally I'd make it out a couple times myself and Nancy would make it out a couple times a week but we'll see. So far that hasn't happened.
I did make it out on the Friday night when Jeff was in Canby and I rode for a while myself but I didn't want to get him too sweaty since I had forgotten the cooler. But it was nice to get back in the barn with no time constraints.
So our plans for the future are to have a trainer out to give us some lessons. We thought maybe we'd do lessons for a month or two and then maybe in the spring send Booker for a 30 day tune up with said trainer. She'd be able to ride him up to 4 times a week and we just haven't been able to put in that kind of time. Not sure our whole list of goals but we'd love to have him remain calm while being ridden, he's still gets a little anxious with a rider, guessing that's part of his gaming past. He needs to use his rear end more and bend bend bend. We think those things will help with his heel pain, just learning to carry himself better in general. As far as our goals as riders, well we have to learn to ride one handed a bit better (or at all in my case) and we just need someone to ride him and know him and then be better able to help us help him move better. We did try the old trick where we don't pick up the reins when he speeds up or gets nervous since sometimes the gaming horses think tight reins mean "go faster." We did discover that while having no rein contact Booker speeds up a bit, say when the gun is fired, but he doesn't do much more than that. It's just hard to get ourselves to not choke up on the reins when we get nervous. Practice practice practice!
- [The Sweet Life of Axel and Cody (and Haji and Booker)!] Working with Booker