I went to the barn on Thursday afternoon to ride Ashke. I hadn't seen him since Sunday. He lifted his nose and sniffed my fingers like he wasn't sure it was me. I'm such a bad mom, but the puppies are taking up a ton of time, there was a pretty decent storm on Weds, which caused my commute home to be over two hours, and it's freaking cold. Add all of that to no sleep and a strained hamstring and working the horse just didn't seem real appealing.
Ashke was better on Thursday. The extended rest seemed to have helped his hamstring and he was able to give to the bit and pick up the correct lead in both directions. He did feel as though he was charging when he was on the right lead, heavy on the bit and not real responsive. Riding him to the left is always so much better. I know it has to do with his right hamstring but really don't know how to make it better, so I emailed Diane and asked her about seeing him again. I have plans to go out on March 30th to have him adjusted and talk to her about rehabbing the hamstring. (Supplements?)
I decided to change it up and rode up and down the arena instead of around in a circle. We worked on serpentines, neck reining, some leg yields which he's not doing as well as he was before, and then asked him to canter the length of the arena and stop. He almost didn't, ending up with his neck and chest pressed against the rail. That wasn't acceptable.
I started at a walk. We walked. I asked for a stop. He stopped. I asked for a back. He backed and then I asked him to stand. It didn't take long for him to start anticipating what I was asking him to do. We moved to the trot and then at the canter. He was very willing to do whatever I asked him to do. We had to change it up a little to keep him from stopping and backing before I asked him to. He really responds the best to verbal commands. I kept it short and stopped on a high note.