Canter work

I brought her in, let her bounce about in the indoor for a few minutes where she had a grand time, groomed, and tacked up.  Her hooves look great.

I started to go out to the prairie for a hack, but there was occasionally ice and where it wasn’t icy, it was pool-table hard.  We went about 50 yards and threw in the towel.

We worked in the indoor with a longish walk warmup and then a lot of work on half halt in trot.  She did well with that, and once we got the trot softer in her topline, I was rewarded with some very nice canter work.  We even got to work on trot-canter-trot transitions, one of my favorite exercise for topline suppling.

We had a nice walk warm down and then I let her loose to roll in the arena.  I put her blanket on because it is damp, so feels chilly!

Riding out – not

I brought her in and tacked her up, feeding her several peppermints from Archie’s stash.  She was in quite the playful mood.  The temperature was right at 32 degrees, but I went out to hack in the prairie any way.  I went about 20 feet and turned around as there was unpredictable ice where melting snow had produced puddles.  So this is about all we saw of the prairie:

But luckily, we have an indoor at HG.  We had a nice long walk hack warmup and then some work in trot and some very good work in canter.  We had a long warm down and I let her roll in the arena after the workout.

Stretching and some fun

I interrupted Elsa’s supper hay, which she seemed ok with.  I took her blanket off and groomed her and scratched her withers where the hair always gets mussed by the blanket.  She was loving that.

We did a nice slow stretching workout in the arena in all gaits and she loosened up nicely.  By the end we were both grinning.

Afterward I removed her tack and let her rollin the arena.  Fun day!

Feeling good

It was a beautiful evening and rifle deer  hunting is over so out to the prairie we went!

We had a nice long walk warmup and then some trot and canter work int he hickory grove.  Then on to jumping the logs on the ground, which she saw fit to for of run at out of sheer joy, the goofball.  We did those a few more times until she could contain herself and then on to the log pile to the barrels a few times, which went well.  Then we trotted and cantered 3/4 of the way around the prairie, flushed 7 pheasants, then turned around and did walk and trot on the way back.  Jumped the barrels and logs on the way home and had a nice walk cool out.

When we got back, I let her roll in the arena and then put her cooler on while I tacked up Leo.  By the time I was done with that she was ready for her regular blanket.  Very good night.

Arena work

We’re getting near the earliest sunsets of the year so we had to work in the indoor.  Well, I suppose that and deer hunting is a good reason to stay in.  The footing is much improved and zero dust.  She started out tight, but got better and better as the night went on.  Larry rode Leo and we worked a lot on lateral work with both of them.  By the end of the night she had some nice relaxed, loose-rein canter work, which was thrilling.  It is always a treat to work with the talented and smart Elsa!

Suppleness

We tacked up and her eye is probably improved over yesterday.  It didn’t seem to bother her much.  It looks like this today:

In fact, in real life it looks better than this, but this is the best picture I got.  I’m not camera gifted today for some reason.  Ha!

We worked in the arena in all gaits on suppleness and relaxation.  By the end she was doing some nice work.  Good girl.  I gave her a chance to roll in the arena after untacking and she enjoyed it.

Balance in canter

She was in her stall for the evening when I went to ride her.  I had asked them to hold her grain back so that I could feed her afterwards.  I tacked her up and, since it was pretty close to dark, we stayed in the arena.

We did some stretching in walk and trot, and then went on to walk-halts where I would just squeeze the reins and stretch up, wait a second and then follow up by vibrating/pulling on the reins if she wasn’t started stopping.  She picked up on it beautifully and it carried through to trot and canter and she seemed right proud of herself.  Very good day!

Hacking and good work and grazing, oh my!

We started out with a walk hack down the hill, observing all the earthwork that has been happening.

We carried on and hacked back up the hill and out to the prairie, including some nice, supple work in the hickory grove in all gaits.  She was letting go and breathing, which was really very nice for both of us.

Then a hack home:

Followed by a rinse and some grazing on the north side of the barn, where the grass growing in the shade there was quite verdant, which she enjoyed immensely!

 

 

Elsa hack

We went down the hill in walk for a warm up and trotted back up for a workout. The shoulder was appropriately soft, probably due to it mostly being in the shade.

Then we hacked around the field, working on balance and transitions and also just enjoying the freedom of being out. She did excellently!

On the way out after the hill work

Treated to a beautiful sunset. Wish you were here.