But before we get to that, I have pictures to share with you on why I decided to move Ashke to grass for the next couple of months.
I had to, in case you had forgotten what he looked like when I got him.
Doesn't his chest and shoulder look great?
The picture that still makes me cry.
Nice muscle in the shoulder, too. Hard to take good iPhone photos in a dimly lit barn. Especially of a white horse.
So darn skinny!
Not so much any more. I can still feel his ribs but you can't see them any more. I figure he is a six now on the body condition chart. Now we just need to tone and condition.
Can't wait to add some muscle to the top of his butt, and fill in his top line. We have hills for that.
I rode again tonight. It didn't go well. We did great at the walk and the canter, but not so much at the trot. I just can't get him to bring his head down. I know that this was only the fifth or so ride since I got the new bit, but still, I got pretty frustrated. Frustration is not how I want to be with my horse.
I've decided to try a tie-down the next time we ride in the arena. Sunday, Nicole and I are riding out on the mesa, which I know he is going to love! The next time I ride in the arena, I will put the tie-down on him and see if that helps him figure out what I want him to do. I know I'm just not asking right, because he is trying to do what I want.
We worked on so many things . . . he sidepassed in both directions, he backed with very little cue, he cantered to the left for six circuits of the arena, and to the right for two and a half before he stumbled, so we stopped. In the future I need to ride to the right first, not after he is tired. We walked in figure eights. We practiced stopping and then backing. We practiced standing still and waiting for me to ask him to move forward. He did all of that really awesome. It was just the trotting we had difficulty with.
When I was riding him with the martingale, he would flex and drop his head and neck, because the reins were forcing him down. Now that the feel of my hands is different, I think he is lost trying to figure out what I am asking him for. I am going to try the tie-down and see if I can use the tool to get us settled and his head down. I think once he understands what I am asking for, he will willingly give it to me. It's just getting him to understand.