|It is so hard to get a good pic in the washrack!|
Ended up well yesterday:) Tacked up in the dressage tack and headed up to the ring! It was ROCK hard:( I decided to do a lot of walk work and not so much trot/canter because of it. Muffin was still feeling extremely tight. Not sure why, it's beginning to frustrate me a little bit. When I tacked him up, he was up to his old tricks and was shaking his head violently and twitching his skin where the flies were landing on him. Longtime blog readers will remember he sometimes shakes his head so violently, I was worried he might have a touch of head shaking syndrome. I think what he has is a touch of "Pissy Red-Headed Pony" going on. I have found through common sense and trial and error, that when he gets like this an ear bonnet helps tremendously. So, I braided up the forelock, stuck on his goofy mint green satin ear net with the silver bling and up we went.
I began by walking over cavs on the medium setting. I just kept my reins long and walked both directions over poles and cavs until I could feel that shoulder unlock and he began to stride out. At that point, I began by warming up with an exercise recommended in "101 Dressage Exercises" to help out a horse with a dull stride. For roughly 10 minutes, switch between a working walk and a SLOW trot. Try to switch each time in the same spot, and just keep at it. Well ... I did. And I don't think it helped Tiki with ANYTHING. He didn't feel more loose, he didn't feel softer, and he didn't feel one little bit better than normal. Hmm, chalk that one up as a dud!
Moved onto trotting 2 big spiral circles. He felt ok; a bit stiff through his body, but I just kept working on his mouth with my hands, and working on his body with my legs and he slowly began to feel a little bit better. Another "101" exercise I wanted to try was my favorite kind; simple in the execution but difficult in reality. Tiki actually didn't do quite as perfectly as I thought he would. It is: Walk a straight line, halt. 1/4 turn on the forehand. Rinse and repeat until you've completed your square. I was being EXTREMELY picky about things of course:) He tried to be a little hollow through the back, and he was a bit wiggly performing the totf off the rail like that, but as I completed the second square, he got better. Interesting exercise; it can also be performed with a turn on the haunches. We will definitely be practicing that!
Ended up with a nice trot/canter transition, cantered one lap, did a 20m circle, then reversed across a diagonal with a nice long trot before the right lead canter. Repeated on the right lead, pulled off a lovely halt/back and let him be finished.
Methinks next week will involve a day in the cc saddle with no stirrups. Maybe a dressage school in the front pasture? Not sure as of this particular moment:) Saturday I will be running my VERY FIRST ever 5K! I figure if I'm asking my horse to be athletic and light, I can do the same for myself. I've lost enough weight that I'm down a pant size, 2 more to go! I'm on the right track, just have to keep on it.