Sunday, December 12, 2010
In the Arena #40 - What a difference a day makes...
A joyful morning with my horse - warm and sunny! Although many holiday related chores beckoned and thunderstorms threatened, we persevered. It seems like this time of year, if you have the opportunity to ride, you had better take it.
Val was in an extra playful mood as I cleaned up and fed. Every time I turned around his nose was right there, and eventually he grabbed my headphone cord and pulled my little radio out of my pocket. Who needs NPR when you have a horse?!
I think Val remembered our discussion about authority from yesterday. We breezed right through our warm-up. I played with how much energy we could develop at the walk before we transitioned into the trot. Sometimes Val needs to get over the hump - energetically speaking - once or twice, and then we're good to go. I was reminded of something my trainer says... that you should always complement your horse's energy level. On a scale of one to ten, if your horse's energy is a two, you need to be an eight. If your horse is a nine, you must be a one. We're generally in the former category :)
Val enjoyed working today... lots of blowing and snorting, especially during our trot work. He reached and stretched for contact. Since we're limited for the time being, to trotting on the long side that still has good footing... (Dear Santa - Some truckloads of sand would really come in handy about now!!) I focused on trot / halt, halt / trot transitions, mainly from my seat. We finished up with a bit of cone work and some lovely correct turns on the forehand. Still struggling with keeping the neck straight and consistent turning aids, but it seems that bareback work may be helping with my uneven hip situation. Ideally we will be able to get a ride in tomorrow as well, to hopefully cement this progress we've been making as another cold spell with big winds is on the way.
It occurred to me that the winter weather didn't seem so bothersome last year. (I should check my archives and see how much complaining I did) Then it also occurred to me that I was probably (secretly) glad to have an excuse to avoid riding. It was about a year ago when we had our disastrous train wreck trail ride. Hard as it is to believe, I was afraid of my horse for a while... questioning the wisdom of getting a horse at all. What the heck was I thinking!!