After a nice walk warm-up in the relative warmth of 29 degrees (yes, I was riding in a sweatshirt, no jacket) I did about 30 walk to halt transitions to help her understand the said aid for collecting. We spend a lot of time teaching horses that the calf means “go” and spending some time teaching them that the thigh and the lower back mean “rebalance” is time well spent.
She started to understand the concept well in walk and to make the appropriate changes. She even carried it forward into trot and canter well. This was a great start.
Another lovely day, thought the clouds were already coming in, in front of the storm this weekend. Nevertheless, we rolled up the south curtains and went to work. She had a nice walk warm up and some good trot work. Canter was a little tight and it improved.
I rode Lexi in the indoor with Missy on Sammy (who is doing well!). Lexi is also doing well, with a lot more relaxation in all gaits. We even got some nice deep breathing in canter and relaxation over her topline. At the end of the hack, we went for a fun, short hack in the fresh snow.
When we got back, we untacked them and let them roll in the arena, of which she took full advantage.
I brought her in and groomed her and trimmed her bridle path. Then I gave her a full head massage. She was digging it. I rode her in a Howdy’s snaffle tonight.
We warmed up slowly with walking and basic lateral work, such as turn on the haunches, side pass and leg yield. We proceeded slowly to help her understand to yield to leg cues rather than react to them. We made very nice progress and then just for fun did some trot and canter work. Then a review of the lateral work during warm down. Very good girl.
I brought her in and groomed her, putting some show sheen on her tail and mane for a small beauty shop treatment. She looked very pretty. Then I tacked up and rode in the arena. She was slightly tight at first, but in about 45 seconds, her walk was much improved. The stretching work is paying off!
Her trot work was also mostly relaxed, but her canter work was really good. She took several deep breaths and chuffed several times, and even had stretchy canter. Wonderful.
I rode her in a lesson with Missy on Howdy (who also went well!). Straight off the mounting block, her walk was relaxed and she was looser in her neck and back than I’ve ever seen her. When we got to it, her canter work was excellent. There is work to do, but she is definitely on the right track. Yay.
After grooming, I put on my blaze orange vest (deer hunting season) and headed down the road. We had a nice walk warm up and then headed south on “Cam’s road,” the one directly to our east. We trotted down and up through the valley, then cantered to the T-intersection. We worked a lot on softening to the rein and being polite to the half halt and she got better and better. Back the way we came and a nice walk along the fence line home.