Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Back in the Saddle

The temperature made it up to 18F today, with some wind, but it seemed like a big improvement over the last several days.  I was able to ride all three horses - the temperature in the indoor was about 22F in the morning when Dawn and I were working, and made it up to around 26F in the afternoon when I rode Pie and Red.

All three horses had a day off due to the cold yesterday, and Dawn had spent most of the day in her stall yesterday, at her request - she did manage to get out today, as well as the boys.  Despite the cold and day off, all three horses were very, very good.

I lunged Dawn for a bit before I rode, but she was responsive and well-behaved from the beginning.  Her canter work on the lunge was very good, with no bucking or squealing and only the slightest bit of head tossing.  She told me she didn't really need the lungeing by asking to turn in, so we stopped pretty quickly.  We had a very nice ride, mostly at trot, and she was quite relaxed and stretching down, although very forward.  We did only a little canter to keep the excitement to a minimum - Dawn's a horse who tends to rev up at the higher gaits rather than settle.  I told her what a good girl she was and turned her back out.

Pie was up first in the afternoon.  He started out quite forward, and did some nice trot work and then we did a fair amount of cantering - he sustains the canter well now on both leads, although our bending to the right is still an issue that we need to work on.  After that we did some more trot work, including some very nice tight serpentines.

Red was really excellent.  He stood perfectly on a loose rein for mounting - this is something we work on every day and it's really starting to gel.  He was very forward at the walk and warmed up well.  We then went immediately to left lead canter - there was no balking or resistance and we moved right to trot work after that.  He started out a bit stiff at trot to start, but warmed up and started moving much better. We mixed up the trot and canter work, and ended with a lap of right lead canter, and a bit of more collected trot work.  He was just wonderful - very soft and relaxed, and got much praise from me.

Tomorrow it's supposed to be about as cold, and then we're warming up into the 20sF, with 30s and even 40s coming next week.  Looking forward to that!

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