Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Snow day!


"Please please please bring me in I'm done"
We were released from work early due to a moderate blizzard making the roads hardly passable for the giant influx of non-northern native drivers.  So instead of curling up on the couch, I went to the barn.  Because if everyone's home thanks to the snow, then I get the ring to myself.  Nailed it.

Got to the barn as the guys were bringing the horses in, and Soonie was still outside.  I called to him, and Mr. Tough Turnout I Don't Need To Come In Early Anymore came trotting over.  TROTTING.  And nickering.  He had clearly had enough and was not impressed with snow and wind and not getting a spot at the round bale.

So I brought Bubba in and he went straight for his hay (do not pass go, do not stop to crib), so I figured he was eager to warm up.  I removed the snow/ice from his face and neck, covered his neck with a cooler, and let him eat hay for a little while.  After he had dried off a little bit, we tacked up and got in the ring for another walk/trot school.  Given that it was really cold, I figured we didn't need to do a whole lot, just get to a nice, soft, forward trot with good stretch (besides, canter work yesterday was superb!). 

Good boy! :)
We got there, and the tension that we've had in the last couple of rides early in the trot was much lesser today.  I was making too big a deal out of it - he gets to beautiful places in the trot,  but I can't expect too much in the first 5-10 minutes of that gait.  Something has changed in how I ride him during that time in the last couple of weeks (as opposed to the month or two before that, where he went into good, deep stretching almost immediately), and I need to figure out what so I can go back to the right ride.  Again, we get where I want to get (the cold didn't help either of us and we needed some time to get warm), it's just taking slightly longer as I can't force that type of correct movement.  I can only ask for what he can offer, and if it takes a few minutes longer than before, it's not anything to be upset about.  At the end of the day, he's still doing amazingly well on the flat and is a lovely ride.  I might try doing more focused lateral work at the walk only to see if that encourages a trot stretch more easily. The trot we had from about the middle of the ride to the end was really, really great, and he felt very loose, swinging, and got a fantastic, deep stretch. 

Soonie earned his two carrots tonight.   He's such a good sport to come out and try so hard on every single ride, even after looking like an equine popsicle for a couple of hours.  Since it's going to be cold again tonight (and one corner of his stall under the boarded up window is snow covered thanks to the wind), I tossed him some extra hay, gave him a big hug, and called it a night.  :)

Thawing after coming in from the frozen tundra

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