I’ve been riding Red a ton recently,and I’m loving it. But I’ve realized that he either needs a day inbetween sessions, or if I ride him 5-6 days in a row, he needs two or three days off after to chill, think about the sessions and give his brain time to relax. If I ride him a TON with just one day off, he gets frustrated and bored, no matter how much I switch things up. I rode him on the 30th, the day after the last ride I blogged about, and he was good for the first ten minutes but then was just DONE. He was very stubborn, and just felt tired and annoyed with me. So I told myself, okay, I’m going to demand that I get a good 5 minutes, then end on a good note. So that’s what he did. I let him have the next day completely off, then it stormed like crazy so my 2 day break turned into a 6 day break (it has been DISGUSTING and cold.) although I did get some good groundwork time and grooming time in. I hopped on him today and I had my good boy back. He was very light in the bridle, very relaxed and eager to work. The only downside of today’s ride is he didn’t want to lower his head quite as low as I’d like – he did have good moments, but I’d say 50% of the ride was spent with his head a bit higher than I prefer. That being said, he still felt great and the trot seemed very collected and nice. I need to continue working on getting his nose to suck in a bit but other than that I’m pretty proud of things. And he’s starting to bend his neck and use his neck way more, so very happy with that.I feel like his nose will come along soon now that his neck is more muscular and he’s getting fitter.
Here are things I noticed that I need to work on –
- My heels are struggling. This is probably because my stirrups are still a notch too long. I kept losing them, my boot just slips out. Hard to reach down with my heel!
- LOOK UP.
- Sit taller.
- Work on consistency in the trot.
- Continue getting fitter. He can trot for about 3 minutes straight now without constantly breaking it, he’s so chubby.
- That’s about it.
I started off at the walk for about 2-3 minutes, working on neck reining again which he’s doing wonderful with, very impressed with how quickly he caught on. Also did some refreshing with backing up, he’s not doing as well as he used to because I’ve stopped working with it as much so time to squeeze in some backing up time in every ride once again. Then, I let him trot. For the first couple of minutes I let him trot around the arena without much of a goal – just let him get his energy out a bit and stretch around, and fairly quickly he offered to round up and lower his head, got lots of praise. After a few minutes we moved onto the trot poles. During our last ride, I did manage to get him to trot over the pole coming from the right side of the arena, which he previously had refused to do. This time, I started off with that side and he went over it without a hitch.
Looking at these, I am seeing how hunky his neck is looking – I figure that has to mean we’re starting to work properly, right? 😉
Then, I had him turn around in a tighter circle and go back over the pole coming from the opposite direction, and he trotted over it and literally just floated over. He took a weird step and went over it about a step too soon, but he recovered amazingly and was actually really nice and light over it.
I let him turn again, then try again and he was much better, made sure he didn’t mess up again and went over it at the right time. 😉 During the tight turn, I lost my stirrup and had to shove it in quickly, so my leg and feet are weird.
I think that’s the best photo of the day, even though my EQ is off. From what my eyes can tell, he’s very rounded, collected, and looks nice. If the nose would go in a bit more I think his body would be pretty near perfect.
We rode for about 35 minutes, slowly getting a lot more fit. 🙂