Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Ride #20

One of the most challenging parts of winter is being able to determine how warm your horse is and how much “warm up” they need before starting your serious work. Of course, by this point, our lateral work is part and parcel of our warm up, and not so much a focus of our training. On Monday night, it was 55 degrees when I left the house wearing only a vest over a thermal shirt. By the time I got to the barn it was 29 with a cold northern wind blowing. I guess I expected Ashke to be warm, but I think that he was a little stiff when we first started to work. I didn’t allow as much warm up in the lateral work as I normally do, which ended up making our double slalom feel stiff and difficult. After we had ridden through the double slalom with changes, I went back to the lateral trot work and keep him moving through the leg yield to half-pass series until I could feel his hind legs stretching up under him. 

Then we did the random circles in the arena with changes at various points in the circle. This was an exercise that we did at the trot when I first started riding with Amanda, and it works just as well in the canter with flying changes. He was so good and I wish I had gotten that on video. Then we worked on our collected to medium and back to collected canter. He really stretched into the medium canter and then didn’t want to come back to the collected from my seat. By the time we were done with that exercise, he was huffing so I got off and hand walked him while picking up poop, all the time whispering what a great horse he is and how very proud I am of him.

The double slalom.
Looked much better than it felt.

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