Thursday, February 28, 2013

I don't mean to brag ...

Silly satin ear net!

but I am!  I mean, honestly ... raise your hand if you have either an ottb or even a warmblood that can have 6 days off, not get turned out one night, and behave himself with NO fireworks being fully body clipped in low 40's cold and biting wind.  Lol, I know there are plenty of well behaved horses out there, but I'm just so blessed to have found one so ... SAFE.  That's what he is, safe.  He's fiery, he's sensitive, he's hot, but he's safe.

I tacked him up in the dressage tack and headed out to the front pasture (Star's pasture) to do a field dressage school.  Well ... ALL the mares were in her pasture, so I changed course and headed out to the back 15 acre pasture.  It's been quite awhile since I've ridden him back there, and when I do it's usually to walk hills.  I've lengthened my stirrups to the point that I can NOT keep my heels down; my dressage score is usually significantly higher than others, so I guess it's time to QUIT riding like a hunter rider, and learn to ride like a dressage rider!

It was COLD today.  Low 40's, cloudy, and a biting wind that would have cut straight through me had I not been bundled up like the Michelin Man.  I left off the quarter sheet due to the wind; I figured it would be blowing around so much it would just distract him.  What I DID do was put on his goofy satin ear net ... why?  I don't really know.  At the end of the day, I do think it helped him to stay focused.  I'm telling y'all; when his forelock tickles his ear and he's fresh he just shakes his head like a fiend.  Today?  Only once:)  I marched him up a hill to the only relatively flat part of the pasture by the neighbor's fence, and even there it's still pretty rolling.  I put him on a rectangle at the walk, and he tolerated that both directions for about 10 minutes, and that's when he finally got impatient and started sucking back and getting behind the leg.  Rather than lose my temper, I corrected his behavior with a good squeeze of the spur, a growl, then the trot when he reached back into the contact and strided out.

I did nothing difficult.  A simple 20m circle both ways.  I kept my leg on, kept my outside leg back to bend him around the inside, and kept my hands up and floating.  I made sure he was flexed at the poll, and even though it was HARD, he was very forward and willing.  I had to slow my posting significantly and power him forward with the leg, and he finally began to balance on the downhill portion of the circle.  I did a few tiny figure 8's concentrating on changing the bend and keeping the tempo up.  He felt great!  Cantered right, very nice.  Cantered left, and Oh.  My.  Lord.  I have NEVER felt him canter so lightly in a circle in a field with SUCH a nice flexion in his neck.  WOW!  He was SO good, I dropped the reins and walked him out.  It was a little sooner than I'd meant to, I only rode about 16 minutes, but that frickin' canter was so light and lovely, I wanted him to end on that.

Tomorrow I will jump; either the jumps as they're set, or if I'm feeling ambitious I will set a gymnastic.  LR will do a flat school on Sunday, and we'll see what next week holds!

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