Holy Moly, WHY is it SO hot outside??? This is on the heels of a FREEZING, COLD winter. Global warming, I suppose. Rode my boy 3 times last week ... REALLY wanted to make it 4 days, but Thursday I just could NOT make myself leave the AC and ride in the heat that literally the second I stepped outside, I broke a sweat. I think my poor boy gets mildly dehydrated in the summer; he gets very dark and sunken in under his eyes. Half the time in his stall in the afternoons, he's not eating, he's standing angled under the fans, haha. I am SO grateful he stays on his night turnout. Even on that, though, I'm really fighting the formation of crud since he sweats under his sheet and fly mask, and spends lots of quality time in the pond, lol. He gets electrolytes, and I change his water buckets every time I'm out, but you know that old saying about, "You can lead a horse to water ... "
So, y'all know about Monday. SO fun! Tuesday was a day off, Wednesday I longed him. He actually looked pretty good on the longeline, which is unusual for him. Typically, he is SO lazy on it! I actually got him going pretty forward ... he looked great. I was able to actually get some w/t/c/t/c/w/t transitions, which he's generally a lazy bum when doing that.
Thursday, I couldn't make myself get up and go out. Friday, I had a little gift on my tack trunk ... a Thinline pad! Nicole had left it for me to try out. She had said, "It's of the older variety, but I think it'll work for you". I was PRETTY sure it was a Thinline, but it didn't find the name on it. Put it on top of my square pad, led him up to the ring, and mounted. I was TRYING to keep a very open mind ... it's like the placebo affect. You THINK you're taking a weight loss pill; you lose weight, you credit the weight loss pill only to find out it was a sugar pill. I've read and heard so many good things about Thinline, I didn't want to imagine all these changes by sheer will, lol!
I started out TOTALLY different than I ever had. I dropped the reins, and stretched my arms over my head. Arms out to the side, rotate the torso inside and outside. Touch my toes, touch his ears, touch his tail with both hands. WOW. That felt so good. I mentioned how on Monday I felt REALLY crooked, right? I think I did. If I didn't, on Monday I felt REALLY crooked. Also, the stalls have been AWFUL lately (lots of drinking water = lots of peeing), so my back has just felt very cramped and stiff lately. So, doing these exercises were amazing. Tiki LOVED it. He had his wonderful, ground eating walk, and stayed nice and straight on the rail while I was doing this. Transitioned into standing straight up in my stirrups, hips over the pommel of the saddle, then 2-point with my arms out to the sides. Finally, settled back down in the tack, slowly shortened my reins (making sure he didn't trot off), and picked up my trot. I concentrated on his back end and asking for poll flexion. I've noticed he has been stiff through his poll, so I made sure he was properly bent.
Um, let me say that the Thinline pad felt GREAT! I could tell right away that my back felt better. I felt like I didn't have to nag Tiki to go forward, he felt like he was stepping under himself well, and he was bending ok. He just isn't a loose, swingy, relaxed horse. I'm trying to help him be that way ... I've put him on msm, I'm using the Thinline now, and I like to use his T-boots with the shock absorbing lining.
Long story short(er), he felt quite nice. Had some really nice canter transitions, cantered circles, half halted, let go, yay. Trotted through 3 cav bounces and he was actually nice and slow. Did them a few times, then trotted the 2'3 vertical. My hips fell back, but I released. Trotted the oxer, and it felt good. Cantered the vertical a few times, and I finally got some decent distances. On my last pass over the oxer, bending line to the vertical, my foot actually caught the standard on the oxer and pulled it down. OUCH! Kept going, though, and hit the vertical nicely. I had made a nice, tidy turn into the oxer and angled a little to the vertical, but I guess I had a little more of a slice than I'd thought.
This upcoming week will again be in the high 90's, so I guess I'll be lucky if I ride Tiki 3 times this week, again. When I do, you'll read about it here!