Monday, April 8, 2013

Lots of Goodness

That's what I think of my horses - they're lots of goodness.  People often ask me which horse I like best, and I honestly tell them that I like all of them just as much - each for their own special nature - a bit like kids, I suppose.

Red and I had an outstanding ride yesterday.  He was forward, and soft, and very sound in both directions after he warmed up.  He really wanted to canter, so we did some of that as well - his canter was bounding and forward - he was almost throwing me out of the saddle.  After we were done with our arena work, we had a wonderful mosey around the pasture outside the barn - he really wants to go outside - I think that means he's going to love going on the trail.  The nice thing about the pasture is that there's a lot of up and down, so we did some walking hill work - he needs that to build up his quadriceps muscles.  We walked all over on a loose rein - he was relaxed and responsive and couldn't have been more wonderful.

This morning Dawn and I had a wonderful ride as well.  She was very forward - typical for her - nice and soft and moving very well.  After our trot work, we did some canter - it was probably her best canter work this year so far.  Very even on both leads, and very relaxed while forward, and she was able to sustain it well in both directions.  Just lovely - what a beautiful and wonderful mare!

Pie has been doing well.  His neurological symtoms have abated.  Today we did some wonderful forward trot work on a loose rein - his corners are about perfect.  He's moving very well and is just plain obliging and willing.  We've been working on putting together the "floating" exercise - it's a wonderful exercise that require breaking things down and doing things slowly to get flow and connection.  Essentially, what is involves is traveling in a straight line at the walk.  You then move into sidepassing - in our case with the head to the left and hindquarters to the right.  Then you move into backing by continuing to move the shoulders to the left and hindquarters to the right.  Then you move into sidepass with the head facing the other way, by again moving the head to the left and the hindquarters to the right.  You then continue to swing around and end up traveling forwards again.  The goal is softness - which means smooth, and relaxed and no big aids.  Once you've got it working in one direction, you can do the other way. Pie's been doing this exercise - only with the head moving left this far - and is making big improvements.  He's very smart and is clearly getting it.  What a wonderful horse!

All three horses are wonderful . . . just plain wonderful . . . who could ask for anything more!

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