Take one fit horse who is used to being ridden five times a week.
Add, hock injections
Mix in a cold front with 10” inches of snow
Fold in temps in the 60’s
Sprinkle with a new set up in the arena where the jumps are stacked against the wall instead of smack dab in the middle
Dust lightly with the sounds of sliding ice and dripping water
Add a pinch of chicken scratch against the metal siding
Stir briskly and let stand in a stall for 10 days
The lesson was focused on keeping him focused and moving forward, since his tendency was to go up and down like a carousel horse. We worked on the lateral stuff and some canter. I got a couple of changes, but then we stopped. I was not being as effective in my aides as I should have been, mostly from being under the weather and not feeling great. Plus, his feet are long. We are on a six week cycle, but the last four days or so are tough and if I’m not riding well we end up tripping a lot.
After we worked on the canter work, Amanda had me doing an exercise where I picked up my bend, rode a ten meter circle, changed the bend and rode shoulder in across the arena, to another ten meter circle, and repeat. I could not get Ashke to move forward. I ended up asking for a dressage whip, which he shied violently away from when Amanda handed it to me, but it did make him move forward a bit more briskly. We tried it at the trot and I touched him once with the whip and suddenly we had a lot of go. He struggles to give me shoulder in if we aren’t on the rail. This was a great exercise to really emphasize that we can dressage all over the arena.
That was about it for the lesson. When I walked Ashke into the barn and pulled his bridle, I always turn to hang it up, which is usually his opportunity to rub his face on my back. Tonight, ice slid off the roof at just that moment and suddenly he was across the aisle. He decided that was his opportunity to take a walk about down the barn aisle, until he reached his stall. I took him back and unsaddled. Gave him carrots and grain.