|The picture I was snapping when Muffin decided to get away from me|
My dad's birthday was on Halloween and now my husband's is today (Nov 1)! Funny. Not a WHOLE lot going on on the Tiki front right now. Last week, I was battling both a huge half chap rub and a super sore hip flexor, so was completely unmotivated to ride. The only day he came out of his stall during the day was on Friday when Lovely Rider came out to ride him. She schooled in the dressage tack and did some figure 8's over low cav trot rails.
Rode yesterday in the huntseat tack. Decided just to hack up in the ring. He started out unbelievably stiff. This is the time of the year he starts to feel that way. Mon/Tues had horrific wind gusts as well as suddenly cold temps (Friday I turned the stall fans on, Monday I was literally wearing 5 layers), so he was slightly grouchy to have his nice warm sheet off and be out working. I stayed super soft and light and eventually he relaxed and started to lift through the back and slow the rhythm. I too trotted him through the cav trot rails, and for the first 20 minutes he felt horrible through them, losing rhythm, tripping, akwardly trying to leap over 2 at once ... you get the idea. I didn't drill on them, just would 20 m circle, reverse, spiral, go do the trot rails. I had no real plan, just keep moving and get him to LOOSEN UP.
Spent a LOT of time on the 20 m circle both directions, and he was feeling better and better. LR has obviously been working on downward transitions, because they are MUCH improved. Our canter transitions were pretty darn nice too, and I went back to the trot afterwards and all of a sudden the trot rails were perfect! No change in tempo, no whacking of the feet, just a perfect trot through:) Spiraled in and out and he felt not too bad in those. Cantered twice over poles set on the diagonal, and each time he gave me a picture perfect lead change through them, so I stopped there.
Today we actually did trot sets; haven't done those in quite awhile. Went into the usual pasture, and trotted 8 mins to the left, 2 mins of canter (and maybe 45 seconds of huge, flowing, lovely gallop). 2 mins of walk, then reverse and repeat. I have NEVER. And I repeat, NEVER gone all the way through trot sets without feeling the strain in either my upper back, quads, or both. Also, I definitely feel it in the lungs right before the walk break. Today, I felt NO strain whatsoever, from anywhere. No hard breathing, no fatigued muscles, just good balance and soft hands. Tiki breathed a little; I think he needed the little bit of fitness work. His neck and saddle area were nice and sweaty, but he felt good and spunky the entire time! I REALLY need to buy me some clippers (again) and body clip him. He's grown in a pretty good fur coat already and normally he really doesn't.
Tomorrow I will do a dressage school, and LR is going to come out and video us so I can post some more video. I'm not sure if she will ride this weekend, but I hope she rides at least one day:) Next Sunday is my friend Nicole's wedding, and also a lesson with Simon Eades if it's early enough in the morning. Hoping for a 9:00 lesson! I'm super excited to take an ACTUAL JUMPING LESSON from a real eventing trainer. My boss is awesome for jumping lessons, but she endlessly tries to get us to be more hunter-like ... which we NEED ... but a lesson from an actual jumper/eventer trainer is much needed!