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

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A colorful ride

Yesterday afternoon I had some time at home alone, so of course I rode. ;-)  And since I didn't have to worry about being onsite for my son, and it was another gorgeous day of Indian Summer, I decided ride out and about. On Sunday Rick mentioned that Dr. Heuschmann talked about the benefits of hill work, especially trotting downhill and cantering uphill. So I put on Lance's Renegade front boots and headed out.
We headed down this path to the right of the vineyard
Peach orchard in foreground

The small peach orchard nearby is nicely tilled around the perimeter, so it was the perfect spot for our hill work. We trotted down the left side and cantered up the right side – with a little encouragement. Lance wasn't sure he wanted to work that hard! Then we took a long walk break around a cherry orchard before coming back to trot down the right side and up the left. This time, for some reason, Lance had plenty of energy in both gaits. He felt like he wanted to break to the canter going downhill, and as we rounded the corner to go uphill, he tried to bolt! I got his attention (and the correct lead again), but he didn't lose any of his energy.

It was warm enough that I was comfortable in a light short-sleeved shirt; hairy Lance worked up a good sweat (for him) but was mostly dry by the time we got home. As I was grooming him afterwards, I noticed that his rear legs, just above his fetlocks, felt slightly puffy. I had some Absorbine Vet Liniment Gel I received in a gift pack some time back; this seemed a good time to try it.

Last night after chores I asked Rick if he would feel Lance's back legs. There still seemed to be a bit of filling, so this morning Rick gave Lance a shot of Legend (bless him). I think I'll leave off the hill work for awhile and stick to the arena!


Theresa said...

I'm lucky, when we picked out a pasture area there is a pretty long grade hill in it. The boys work all the time on it
without even knowing it, in all weather. It certainly helps on the mountain trails. Our favorite is cantering up hill ad slow trots down them. Glad to know it is good exercise for them. What amazing scenery you have around there. So lucky!

Michelle said...

Our pasture is sloping as well, but we don't turn the horses out during the rainy (slippery) season to reduce the risk of injury and damage to the forage.

Travel With Lulu said...

I know absolutely nothing about horses and riding, but it sounds like a wonderful way to spend the day. Wonderful photos!

Mary Ann said...

Legend... one of the good products of the Company for Whom I worked. :-)

thecrazysheeplady said...

*I* should probably try some hill work ;-). Gorgeous area!