Firstly, I’m convinced that my horse may be a rather fabulous actress. I was convinced that O was unsound Friday night, and spent hours at the barn doing anything and everything I could think of to see what the issue was. Come Saturday morning mare came into our lesson feeling perfect and totally sound. Horses, how they destroy our brains.
I have been struggling lately keeping O on track; and keeping her work ethic up to standards when just hacking around. O is built a little downhill, and has a pretty good size front end. All of this lends towards a constant battle to keep her off her forehand, and properly using her back end. Now that she’s fit and getting the hang of it, I need to be asking her to really ‘lift’ up in front the entire ride.
So we started with a circle, and at first we struggled. She would give me a few steps of good trot work, and then get upset at me that I was continuing to ask. Around and around we went like this, adding leg each time she got fussy and I focused on being as constant as possible.
Intervals between fussiness slowly got better, and we added canter work. My trainer and I were super happy with her! She got this big lofty canter going and we continued more, asking her to push from behind and lift up in front. We had some messy moments, moreso to the right or when my hands would get discombobulated. Bottom line though is that I got the feel for what O needs to be going around like all the time. There is nothing, minus my knowledge how to ask for it correctly, that is holding us back. So bad me. In my defense I have never ridden a horse has heavy as she can be. My shoulders are still sore from yesterday.
We also added some little jumps, focusing on keeping that same lift in the canter and the pace constant. O was excellent, and is really starting to stretch out over the jumps versus launching into the air. I was so proud of her. She was exhausted at the end, and dripping sweat (so was I), but in return for her hard work she got a nice long, cool bath, and time in front of a fan to dry.
Also, anyone ever find their horse sweats and weird freckles stand out? Mine looked like an appy today when I found her!