Sunday, August 2, 2009

Holy Volte!

Ok, I know I'm getting a little redundant with the hock talk, but I must say that since the injections, Spider is going phenomenally. Today's ride was nothing short of sublime. We warmed up with our usual walk, trot and canter on a long rein, then moved on to lateral work. We played around with the shoulder in, turn, renvers that I talked about previously. Then it was time to move on to the hard stuff. I decided I wanted to work on simple changes.

Simple changes have always been a bit of a challenge for us. Spider was a Jumper, and as such he has a solid flying change. But I'm a bit of a glutton for punishment (just like any good dressage rider), so I have this compulsion to take Spider through the levels. He must do the simple change! I firmly believe in classical training and building up the horse in a logical progression. As such, a flying change is simply not good enough unless the horse has the balance to do a simple change. Spider lacks the strength and balance for the canter-walk-canter transition.

But, since he got his shiny new hocks, I decided to give it a try. It didn't work. He's still got a long way to go until he gets the strenth to take on simple changes. However, we did get some really good canter voltes! It was totally a side effect of the collection we were doing in our pathetic attempt for simple changes, but I'm going to take it.

I think that's a really important part of riding: take what you can get. Horses are just like us, they have good days, bad days and blah days. I may be feeling energetic and ready to take on simple changes, but that doesn't mean my horse is. I try to remember that when I ride, and I try to be sensitive to my horse. I didn't get simple changes, but we got something else that I wasn't even looking for. Not bad!

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