To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Have we finally found 'forward'?

Although it was gray on Friday, the rain held off. Determined to have time to ride, I hustled through my responsibilities and headed to the barn. Lance was a sweetheart while I groomed and tacked him up (sometimes he's a pill), and his usual low-energy self as we warmed up and went to work. But wonder of wonders, I again had energy at my disposal at the canter! Every time I closed my legs, I got a delightful surge into medium canter, followed by the ability to bring him back to a more collected canter (instead of breaking into a trot) more often than not.

This is a delightful development, and I'm not totally sure from whence it comes. Along with physical development, good instruction, and (hopefully) effective riding, I wonder if higher octane fuel may be contributing. For the last week, I've been giving all the horses a little alfalfa along with their grass hay. We found some 2012 valley hay at the back of the stack, so the horses have been getting that instead of the 2013 second-cutting orchard grass. We also had 6-7 bales of 2012 alfalfa left, and I figured I might as well supplement the low-protein valley hay with a bit of that. Since Lance is in regular training, he gets more.

Then again, why would the alfalfa give him more energy in one isolated area? It's a mystery, so I'll just –


Alanna M. said...

That's great!

Laura said...

Yay! I noticed that Tang had way more energy when we were camping (and she was getting timothy pellets vs. hay), so the alfalfa could be part of it. Of course, it's probably the rider ;)

Mary said...

:-) happy for you!