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

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pincushion update

After a temporary disruption in his training schedule due to Thanksgiving, followed by the injections, Horton is back to work. As directed by Rick, I lunged Horton lightly Wednesday, the day after he was injected. I didn't have a chance to do anything with him Thursday; Friday I lunged him again and then rode a bit. When tracking left, I could not get him off my inside leg and he was very resistant to going round and forward. I didn't get after him, since Rick said he could still be sore. But he also said that by today, any residual soreness should be gone and I could ride him with full expectations.

Fortunately, today dawned dry so that I could ride. I lunged Horton first to get him thinking forward, then mounted. Again, he balked at going left and getting off my inside leg on a 20m circle, so we did shoulder-in down the long sides of the arena instead. He did the lateral work equally well both directions, which told me his difficulty wasn't so much a physical issue as a mental one. So I worked through it with lots of encouragement and persistence until his trot quality to the left more closely mirrored the nice connection and energy he gave me tracking right. Once it did, he started thinking about offering canter, instead of bracing whenever he thought I might ask for canter. But he waited until I finally did ask, picked it up nicely, and maintained it until I asked for the trot again. I was very pleased with him!

It looks like I should be able to find a dry window during which to work him tomorrow before another soaker moves in Monday night and Tuesday. I look forward to building on today's good work.


Laura said...

Yay for Horton. The re-thinking of old habits is a very hard thing for anyone...

Anonymous said...

Once he figures out the old pain is gone when tracking left he'll be good for the gold. :)